Late springs calls for sauvignon blanc

Wine Adviser Paul Gregutt loves this grape…

Seattle Times – Wine AdviserPaul Gregutt

SAUVIGNON BLANCS seem to be the perfect wines for early summer. Value choices abound in many styles, and the very color (pale yellow), scent (cut grass and citrus) and flavors (a range of herbs, spices, citrus, green berry and melon) seem to echo the season itself.

Personally, I love this grape, especially when it is handled gracefully, with the alcohol kept moderately low and the clean fruit flavors left unoaked. Among Washington versions, Precept Wine’s Washington Hills and Waterbrook brands both excel.

The Washington Hills 2011 Sauvignon Blanc lists for $10 but can often be found for less. It is high in acid, 13 percent alcohol, with sharp, grassy flavors just right for shellfish.

The Waterbrook 2011 Sauvignon Blanc sells for around $12 and is more concentrated, with alcohol pushing 14 percent. Bright, spicy scents of new-mown grass, herb, pine needle, citrus and melon lead into a fresh, textural and persistent wine, with a depth of flavor rarely found at this price.

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