Wine Tasting Dinner: Washington Sauvignon Blanc



By Kori ~ August 25th, 2010.

Sauvignon Blanc has been one of our favorite white varieties for years. Our trip to New Zealand in 2005 solidified that love, and we have a soft spot for Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Since that trip, we have made it a point to try Sauvignon Blanc from other countries/regions when we have the chance. Given our emphasis on wines from Washington State, we decided that it was time to feature Washington Sauvignon Blanc in one of our wine tasting dinners. Last Friday was a gorgeous, sunny day in Seattle, perfect to enjoy crisp, refreshing white wines.

All of the wines paired well with Mom’s (LaGayle) dinner of curried butternut squash soup, mixed green salad with thyme-seasoned goat cheese cakes and balsamic-dijon vinaigrette, grilled shrimp, sun-dried tomato and basil risotto, roasted asparagus bundles, and Muscat Canelli cake with lemon and mint garnish for dessert.

The consensus favorite of the evening was the 2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc. Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington State’s founding winery with its roots dating back to the repeal of Prohibition. In 1976, Ste. Michelle built a French-style chateau in Woodinville, just northeast of Seattle. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, all of their white wines, including this Sauvignon Blanc, are made in Woodinville. This wine is a wonderful summer sipper, with or without food. It was my favorite of the evening before the meal and was also fantastic with dinner. Best of all, it retails for less than $9 and received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

The other two wines in this tasting that deserve extra attention because of their high quality and excellent value are the 2009 Stevens Another Thought Sauvignon Blanc and the 2009 Substance Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, you can’t go wrong with any of top five wines to enjoy on your deck on a warm summer evening or to compliment the lighter fare often served during these warm months.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale, greenish straw yellow in color. Aromatic with apple, pear, and minerality on the nose. Lemon, lime, and other citrus fruits come through on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with tart, crisp acidity and a long finish. Well-balanced and refreshing.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $8.99; Available elsewhere, $8 to $10

2009 Stevens Another Thought Sauvignon Blanc (Yakima Valley, Washington): Pale, straw yellow. Aromatic with floral, grassy, and pear aromas that lead to pear and lime flavors. Dry and light-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Well-balanced and refreshing.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $16.99

2009 Substance Sauvignon Blanc (Washington State): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Beautiful bouquet with grapefruit and citrus aromas. More grapefruit and lime come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle, Washington), $14.99; Available elsewhere, $13

2009 Efeste Feral Sauvignon Blanc (Evergreen Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale, greenish yellow. Minerality and pear on the nose; pear and apple on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with a long finish. Crisp and refreshing.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $16.99; Available elsewhere, $8 to $15

2008 Alexandria Nicole Steel Horse Sauvignon Blanc (Destiny Ridge Vineyards, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Aromatic with minerality and grassy aromas. More minerality, toast, and lemon peel on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $13.99

2007 Gordon Brothers Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Minerality, nuts, apple, and cat pee on the nose; burnt toast and apple on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a bitter finish.
Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle, Washington), $6.99; Available elsewhere, $7 to $14


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Scott | August 25th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I really liked the Vin du Lac SB when I was in Washington. It makes me wonder how Lake Chelan SBs will develop in the future. I’m often amazed at how well CSM does at their production levels. They do Washington wine a real service in general with their consistent quality.

  2. Kori | August 26th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Scott,
    Lake Chelan has great potential for a number of varieties. It will be fun to watch how the area develops in the future. You are exactly right, CSM is great for Washington wine. Cheers!

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