Friday, April 6, 2012

Updated Review: **** $$ Provenance Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, Rutherford, Napa, CA - BEST VALUE

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By way of background: Provenance Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, hails from estate and neighboring vineyards in Rutherford, Napa Valley, California. I am especially interested in trying this vintage as it was rated among the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines for 2009. (Here are the Top 10 from that Wine Spectator listing.)

Provenance Sauvignon Blanc is aged primarily in stainless steel, and is accompanied by a small amount of semillon for body. It is finished at 14.3% alcohol, pretty much a whopper by white wine standards.

Original review, December, 2009:

In the glass: Provenance Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc shows as pale transparent yellow.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, it shows a bright, big aroma of cut grass, lime and stainless steel - you'd know it in an instant as a sauvignon blanc.

On the palate: Provenance shows a rounder first note than you might have expected from the nose. It coats your tongue with a rich but taut, mineral-toned, lime-infused nectar, more dry fruit than acid. To the back of your tongue, a more distinctly lime essence flows. Wisps of acids and citrus curl into your cheeks.

And the finish: Your cheeks stay alive with the clean citrus invasion, which only slowly fades away on the back of the high alcohol. Quite a long-lived sip, indeed.

In summary: A full, pleasing, dramatic experience, earning three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus added for its intense balance. This yields a good value in our books.

Wine Spectator, in giving Provenance Sauvignon Blanc its status in the Top 100 Wine list, awarded 91 points, and said, "Key lime, passion fruit, melon and nectarine flavors are ripe, juicy and fleshy, with great intensity, a vivid acidity and terrific focus and clarity. Drink now. 15,360 cases made."

Updated review, over two years later,   April, 2012:  We're sort of violating Wine Spectator's recommendation by keeping this around for four years from vintage date.  But, let's see... same pale transparent yellow color.  The sharpness of the nose has retreated to include a pleasant mineral undertone.  The former nectar is mild and fragrant, bringing honeydew melon to the lime.  Soft, but wonderfully clean finish.  This is peaking at four years of age.  Four stars now and becomes a best value.  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  A tiny element of funk joins the honeydew melon on the nose.  Hmmm.  Yet, soft, clean, gentle and sweet on the palate.  Still yummy!

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