Complete Sauvignon Blanc

My bottle graveyard on the coffee table.

Back when I first joined the Quivira wine club, they made a delightful Sauvignon Blanc that retailed for around $13. It wasn’t oaked, and it was a perfect weekday wine.  I wrote a review on it a few months after starting Wannabe Wino Wine Blog.  Then, I didn’t get any other Sauvignon Blanc from them until last year’s fall shipment. And to my surprise, they’d switched to an oaked Sauvignon Blanc. Now, inherently, there’s nothing wrong with oaked I just prefer the unoaked kind.  Now that I visit their website, it seems they do still make the the unoaked version, it apparently just doesn’t come in the club shipments. Pity too, for $10 less a bottle and no oak, I think I’d like that better.  In any case, the wine for the evening was the 2007 Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Complete. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and retails for $28.

On the nose I found lemon verbena, mint, vanilla mint, melon, pear, and vanilla cream.  In the mouth I found the wine to be smooth and round and the oak was nicely integrated.  I got flavors of cream, pear, lots of melon, vanilla, pineapple, and lemon. The wine had a great mouthfeel, and with the slight oaky characteristics, would probably do well in place of a Chardonnay with a roast chicken.

Now to get my hands on some of the unoaked version.  I should have a side by side tasting of the two wines…I have another bottle of the Complete in the basement!

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Same Wine, New Vintage

I previously reviewed the 2005 Quivira Grenache here, about a year and a half ago. I absolutely adored it, so when 2 bottles of the 2006 arrived in my latest club shipment I danced for joy! The 2006 Quivira Grenache from Wine Creek Ranch clocks in at 15.9% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure, and cost me $26 in my club shipment. Oddly enough, when we drank the 2005, my parents were also here visiting!

On the nose I found ground nutmeg, anise, blueberries, black cherries, chocolate milk, vanilla ,spice, earth, perfumed flowers, and slight banana.  In the mouth I got flavors of chocolate, red fruit, raspberries, cherries, and the crumble on top of apple crisp. It tasted like black cherry pie with vanilla cream in a glass.

Overall, the wine showed as light and delicious in the mouth, with tart fruit, and a gorgeous, seductive nose. Once again, I absolutely adored this wine, but I think it could use some more time in the bottle. I have 2 more bottles in the basement, so I think I’ll just tuck the away for another year or so. Check back in then for an updated review! 😉

It smelled like Viognier


The wine was a 2006 Quivira “Hommage A Ampuis” Syrah. The wine hails from the Dry Creek Valley (please go see Dr. Deb’s excellent rant on the value of multiple varietals from the DCV), clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and cost me $36 minus a club discount in my club shipment. The notable part about the winemaking technique of this bottle is that the Syrah juice was fermented on Viognier skins (this also makes me wonder if Quivira has a Viognier they’ve been holding out on!).

And the oddest part was the it smelled like Viognier. If I were doing a blind tasting and hasn’t yet actually tasted this wine, I would have said “Viognier!” and been very confident in that proclamation (except for maybe the slightest hint of dark berries, that would have thrown me for a minutes, but I still would have said “Viognier”). The nose was floral, with pears, violets, honeysuckle, and just a suggestion of dark berries. My notes helpfully say “How very odd.”

The color of the wine was dark purple, like any other Syrah. So I was expecting it to be big and chewy like a Syrah despite its time spent playing with Viognier skins. Instead, this was a much lighter and delicate red wine on the front of the palate. It showed blackberries, blueberries, spice, cinnamon, and black cherry.

My first glass was tannic on the back of the palate. The wine needed air or time or both to loosen up. I have a second bottle of this in the basement and I will hold it for another year or so to see if the time in the bottle will help the wine integrate a bit more. This is the first Syrah I’ve had that involves Viognier, though I’ve seen/read about some that contain upwards of 5% Viognier juice. I think I’d like to get my hands on one of those and see how it compares to this one that simply fermented on the Viognier skins.

Sauvignon Blanc Now With Yeast

The wine for the night was a 2006 Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Complete. I believe they call it complete because it was left on it’s native yeast lees for 7 months. Quivira is a Biodynamic certified winery, as of a couple of years ago, and I believe all of their wines are now Biodynamic.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume (a little high for a Sauvignon Blanc), and arrived in a club shipment. I don’t know what it cost because the mailing didn’t break it down and I haven’t seen the bottle available on the website. I would really appreciate it if the wineries would include a breakdown of the cost of each bottle in the shipment (especially for reordering purposes). I know I’ve ranted about this before, but is it that hard to shove in a card that says: Sauvignon Blanc, $xx.xx?

Anywho, on the nose of the wine I found lemon, pineapple, cream, slight cedar with a bit of oak, and star fruit. In the mouth the wine was full of tropical fruit, lemon, star fruit, and pineapple. The wine was very full bodied for a Sauvignon Blanc, which I’ll attribute to the process in which is was aged. I was a little afraid the wine would be too oaky and ruin the fruit flavors I love in Sauvignon Blanc, but I was pleasantly surprised by the bottle, and liked it. It was tasty in a different sort of way for Sauvignon Blanc.

I served it with grilled pork chops, broccoli, and twice baked potatoes. The wine actually did really well with the meal, because it was more full bodied, it worked well with the smoky grilled quality of the meat, but still had the crisp refreshing character to cut through the cheesy potato and stand up to a green vegetable!

The Weather Outside is Frightful

But the wine is so delightful! This bottle of wine is a great winter red, big and fruity in all the right ways, and perfect to drink in front of the fire with some beef stew. Which is what we did. Winter has really arrived this week, it was 10 out yesterday with the wind chill!

The wine was a 2005 Quivira Anderson Ranch Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. It came in a club shipment, cost us $27.20, clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I found blackberry, spice, cranberry sauce (yes, I do mean the kind you serve with turkey), and vanilla. In the mouth, the wine was tannic at first, but after we let it sit, the flavors came shining through. I got tart cherries, blackberries, and cranberries. Overall, the wine was really dark. The fruit appeared fresher and more vibrant as the wine opened up. A delicious bottle of wine.

Purple Beauty

The wine for the evening was a 2005 Quivira Mourvedre. You’ll be noticing lots of new wines around here as the shipments are pouring in from my wine clubs after a long summer break. Hopefully come April I’ll have a new selection of wineries for you as we are planning to head up to Calaveras County to visit El Jefe.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, came in a club shipment and cost around $24 (can’t find the price on line, this is my best guess).

On the nose I found vanilla, leather, spice, pepper, and bramble fruit. Overall the nose did not display much fruit. In the mouth I found licorice, blackberries, cherry pie, and what I think might have been eucalyptus, or in any case was a medicinal note. The wine was fruitier in the mouth than on the nose. I found it to be dark and earthy with a slightly bitter component. It was a bit tannic, so I think it could age. We have another bottle in the basement, so I’ll try to hang onto that one for a while.

This wine was very different, unlike anything else I’d ever had. I really liked this bottle and would definitely seek it out again.

Try this Wine.

I loved it. An overall fabulous bottle of wine, it had it all. An amazing nose, flavorful in the mouth, excellent structure and acidity, good tannins, I could go on….

The wine was a 2005 Quivira Grenache 2005 from Wine Creek Ranch Vineyard. It cost us $20.40 in a club shipment, clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. I’ve always liked Quivira and this is easily among the top wines I’ve tasted from them.

On the nose I found dark fruit. It was actually surprisingly floral overall. I specifically detected blackberries, strawberries, black currants, vanilla, and spice. This was a very aromatic wine.

In the mouth I would describe this wine as round, smooth, and full-bodied. Again, the dark fruit showed through, with slightly sweet strawberries and blackberries being the most prominent flavors. Overall this was a very dark wine.

I served it with homemade bruschetta and pizza and it was a fabulous match. A great pizza wine in my opinion!