During our trip home over the holidays recently, it was brought to my attention that I don’t really review wines that people can buy everywhere or that they are usually wines that the average person wouldn’t buy. This is true, but it’s also intentional.
There are countless wine blogs out there that will review the mass market wines that you can get at the local supermarket. I have a few rules about the things that I choose to ramble on about:
- I only write about things I LIKE. I’m not in the game of assigning wine’s points on a 100 point scale. Decide for yourself.
- I only write about things that I find interesting, different, or that have a good story associated with them.
- I only write about things that hopefully will educate the reader about something beyond ‘buttery Chardonnays’ or ‘oaky Cabernets’ – such as new varietals, growing regions, or interesting winemakers.
With that said, I also want to go on record as saying that I appreciate GOOD wine. Contrary to popular belief (and possibly the wines reviewed to date), GOOD wine doesn’t mean expensive wine, or boutique wine, or just Californian wine. GOOD wine comes in all shapes, sizes, and prices…and the 2010 Benziger Sauvignon Blanc proves it.
In my opinion, Benziger suffers from the fact that their name sounds too much like ‘Beringer’. For all I know about wine, early on I had a hard time distinguishing between Beringer, Benziger, and BV. I don’t know why…but I did. I kinda lumped them all together when I was learning. Unfortunately, I had a cheapo bottle of BV that turned me off to all of them.
However, one day I bought a Benziger Chardonnay for a party b/c it was reasonably priced at around $12. It blew me away. Well rounded, fruit forward without being sugary and cheap, and enough acidity to balance it all out. I chalked it up to a fluke and moved on in my elitist wine drinking.
Recently we had a party for Halloween, and one of our guests (who knows a bunch about wine) brought over a Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon. I remember thinking as I opened it that Benziger was a dependable mid-market producer…but then I tasted it. It was FANTASTIC. I don’t want to oversell it, but for what I assume was a <$20 bottle of wine, it kicked ass just like that Chardonnay did a few years back.
(SIDE NOTE: Two other producers in the <$20 category who I think are consistantly great for their Quality:Price Ratio are Sebastiani & Rodney Strong. Note that all 3 of these producers are from Sonoma…hmmmm.)
So this brings me to the 2010 Beringer Sauvignon Blanc. I think that this was $11.99 at the SUPERMARKET. (So there!). I’m not a fan of paying more than $15 for a whites…especially Sauvignon Blancs…so this was the upper end of my comfort zone.
This had all the makings of what I think Sauvignon Blanc should be:
- Light in body, but with a little ‘viscosity’ that doesn’t make you feel like you are drinking $5/btl Pinot Grigio
- Strong acid backbone, but doesn’t make you pucker
- Beautiful, bright lemony citrus notes
- Secondary flavors of tart fresh green apples and earthy stone-like minerality that keeps the wine honest and not too far down the sour path
- Not too high in alchohol, so that it is refreshing without being inebriating
All in all, I’m a big fan of both Benziger and this wine. Find it if you can…and let me know what you think!