Hello Prince Albert!
While I like to explore the path less traveled in my wine journey by trying exotic varietals and wines that are often not heard of, every now and then I like to get in touch with what everyone else is enjoying.
I must admit that California Cabernet Sauvignon gets the cold shoulder from me and this year I’ve been attempting to remedy that by tasting more of their wines. The same can be said for Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It is much too easy to fall into the mindset of “Been There, Done That!”, but the reality is that these two styles of wine are two of the top sellers for a reason.
Cab Sauv and Sauv Blanc are both known as high-intensity varietals, which means that they are highly aromatic and full of intensely bold flavors. Lovers of new world wines adore these wines because they deliver a huge amount of satisfying flavor at a reasonable price point. Old world wine lovers are not left out either since these wines can be found in almost every wine producing country on the planet.
Wines from old world countries (France, Italy, Spain, Greece) tend to be on the more subtle or delicate side and the prices are often higher due to the more prolific use of oak and production methods in the vineyard and winery. However, the hottest areas of these old world countries still deliver wines full of fruit and power, albeit at a premium price.
Cab Sauv and Sauv Blanc are known as “international varietals” due to the fact that they can be planted almost anywhere (where winemaking grapes can grow) and will thrive. The differences you taste in Cab Sauv come from climate and terroir of the country of origin. For instance, Cab Sauv from California benefits from the long and hot growing season which results in wines that are full bodied and packed with rich, fruity character and Cab Sauv from France is less fruity with more of an emphasis on earth, oak and mineral (pencil shaving).
Sauvignon Blanc from new world countries is usually fruity and intense with notes of grapefruit, citrus and passion fruit while old world countries like France often produce the style with a creamier, softer feel and hints of minerality. Pick up a few of these wines and compare them yourself! Here are my wine picks of the week!
Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon 2019: (California, USA)
Off-dry red, deep purple color. The high-intensity nose delivers blackberry, grape juice, cassis, raisins and Hubba Bubba grape bubble gum. Rich, fruity flavors stand out on the palate with cassis, blackberry, cooked plums, black currants, vanilla and California raisins. Medium tannins add some grip but are still mellow and sweet along with a soft, round mouthfeel. A touch of pepper comes through on the medium finish. Medium-plus body and medium acidity. This is red is balanced and flavorful and will pair perfectly with garlic sautéed mushrooms, grilled steaks, smoked meats and roast beef with root vegetables. Very good! $24, 13.5% ABV
Caythorpe Sauvignon Blanc 2017: (Marlborough, New Zealand)
Dry white, pale lemon color. Highly aromatic and herbaceous scents of tomato vine, chopped grass, asparagus, dill and fennel burst from the glass on the nose. The intensity carries over onto the palate with a rush of vegetal/green flavors and a squeeze of citrus. Freshly mowed grass, green peppers, tomato leaf and hints of dill with some grapefruit rind are complimented by medium-plus acidity and medium body. This NZ white is crisp and flavorful with some acidity zing on the mid palate followed with soft citrus on the finish. Pair with herbed goat cheeses, scallops or any kind of fresh Saskatchewan fish. Very good! $30, 12.5% ABV
Back Forty Peanut Butter Porter: (Yorkton, Saskatchewan)
Dark brown color with light cream colored lacing. This Sask beer smells like peanut butter cups, chocolate syrup and sweet cocoa. To the taste, this porter features a smooth, creamy body with mild carbonation and slightly sweet flavors of chocolate syrup, peanut butter cup ridges and a finish of earthy coffee. This delightful brew is excellent with light snacks, smoky barbequed foods or as a dessert beer. Worth a taste! $10/Growler, $5/Can, 5.6% ABV
Cheers and thanks for reading!