Is it Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc?

Last night we were pretending it was summer again, with snow crab legs as our main dish and homemade bruschetta as an appetizer. Plus, snow crab leg clusters were on slae for only $4.99 a pound yesterday at the store. Too good a deal to pass up!

Per my usual, I picked a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to go with the crab legs. I almost always think the crisp fruits in a Sauvignon Blanc are an excellent match to the light crab.

Last night was a bottle of 2005 Dutcher Crossing Sauvignon Blanc. I have to admit we bought this bottle without tasting it first because they weren’t pouring it and we usually really like sauvignon blanc. I can’t remember what it cost, but it is 13.9% alcohol by volume and had a cork closure.

This bottle is a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc grapes, 10% Semillon grapes, 8% Viognier grapes and 2% Rousanne grapes. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were fermented in French Barrels. So color me confused. With both the oak fermentation and the blending in of the Semillon grapes, I really thought I was drinking a bottle of Chardonnay. If you had put it blindly in front of me, I would have instantly said it was a Chardonnay. It had a nose of oak and butter. In the mouth it was fairly oaky, so much so that the other flavors had trouble showing through. When they did, I got a little grass and some subdued lemon. It was a very good Chardonnay. But I want my Sauvignon Blanc to taste like Sauvignon Blanc. This one felt like it was trying to be a Chardonnay.

6 Responses

  1. Sounds like you prefer the same style Sauvignon Blanc as I do. Cool, lively, and crisp.
    The 2006 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a great one at a great price. I reviewed it on my blog. Check it out.

  2. Forgot to give you the address.

  3. Babich is nice (for NZ), or for inexpensive French the les Jamelles is pretty good. I even though the Casillero del Diablo (Chile) Sauv Blanc was a good deal.

  4. yep, you’re a New Zealand style sauvignon fan. What you were drinking sounds more like a fume style SB, veering off into a Rhone blend. I feel like they should have to stick an oak barrel sticker on SBs since it’s pretty hard to figure it out from the labels, most times.

  5. Yep, that’s about right! I prefer crisp fruit and a bracing acidity in my Sauvignon Blanc! Thanks for all the suggestions. Dr. Debs, I definitely agree, the bottles that have been oaked need a big warning sticker!

  6. The Dutcher Crossing 05 Sauvignon Blanc was NEVER Oak fermented – it was in tank. You are a self professed wine snob who’s bruschetta looks like it came out a lunchables package.

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