Posts tagged #sauvignon blanc

Lucy Margaux "Wildman Blanc"

wildman blanc marissa a. ross.jpg

Lucy Margaux Wildman Blanc
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Adelaide Hills, Australia
Year: 2016
Price: ~$35 (Sorry I was buzzed when I bought it & can't find the receipt)
Retailer: Ordinaire
Distributor: T. Edward


My father-in-law is quite a character, the kind of guy who is usually addressed as The Danimal and starts most of his stories with, "Well, we were on quaaludes..." This past weekend, he was telling me about this time he and his buddy were waterskiing when they decided to drop their trunks and proceed to drop into a bay that was home to an upscale resort. They literally blew by, waving at stunned onlookers on the shore. The cops eventually came, looking for a green boat and two nude dudes, but with their shorts safely on, they denied any involvement with the heathens. 

If there was ever a wine to pair with such beachy debauchery, it would be the Lucy Margaux Wildman Blanc. Unlike the grassy, green Sauv-Blancs from down under, this bottle is rip-roaringly fruity, fun, and fucking delicious. 

The Wildman Blanc smells like you just won a Hawaiian vacation on K-Earth 101. (They don't call it the Hawaiian Vacation Station for nothing.) Stunningly tropical, you are whisked off to an island paradise as soon as your nose dips into the glass. Passionfruit, deep papaya, pineapple, mango, those little Cuties, yeah, they're all there. In their bikinis. Covered in tanning oil. Piña Coladas in hand. Being like, COME! COME WATERSKI WITH US! NAKED!

It doesn't taste much different. In fact, it tastes exactly like it smells, but add bitter grapefruit pith. And the fact that your clothes are already off, a refreshing acidity breezing through your buttcheeks as you ride along the salty waves with a minerality that jabs at you like seashells along the ocean floor. Part of you is like, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON I'M WATERSKIING NAKED WITH A FRUIT BASKET COME TO LIFE. And the other part of you is like, LET'S DO IT AGAIN!

It's wild, man. But in the best way possible, because while it's completely different than any other Sauvignon Blanc I've ever had, it's still extremely accessible. In fact, it's quite possibly one of the most accessible natural white wines I've had. Its fruit-forwardness will please even the most timid drinkers while the complexity of all that fruit will intrigue even the most heady wine nerds. 

Tasting Notes: Peachy keen and cloudy on the eyes. Again, the bouquet is very tropical and citric with hints of coconut suntan lotion, and same with the palate, but pithy and salty. It's one of those wines that is so delicious it makes you forget alcohol is involved. Extremely juicy and pure, yet dry and textured, this is is a must-drink wine. It does take on reductive notes the longer its open, but still drinks very well even the next day. Sans soufre AND very stable? A WINNER in my book. 


Brendan Tracey "Rue de la Soif"

rue de la soif marissa a. ross

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was a draft I accidentally published. While it is technically unfinished, I'd left it up for days without realizing it, so I am against taking it down. Plus I drank all the damn wine so I couldn't finish it right now if I wanted to. Though I don't wax as poetic as I would have liked, the bones are here and they are good. Delicious bones. Licked 'em clean. Anyway, my apologies for the brevity, and I hope you try the Rue de la Soif for yourself very soon. xo MAR

Brendan Tracey "Rue de la Soif"
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2014
Price: $21
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop
Importer: Goatboy Selections

The Rue de la Soif reminds me of when you pull a load of laundry fresh out of the dryer and then fold it ten minutes later. It's soft, warm, and welcoming, even more so than when you first pull it out of the Whirlpool hot as hell. It's fragrant but not overwhelming, and you want to dive into it. 

Tasting Notes: A cloudy, yellow sapphire on the eyes. It smells like leftovers of my grandmother's (and now my sister's) apple pie reheated the next day, still cool in the center. Tastes like fresh laundry and bruised pears, with a sturdy and sustaining lemonade style acidity. 

Ross Test: Good, but has a bit of a soapy quality, making it preferable out of a glass.

marissa a. ross rue de la soif

Scholium Project "La Severita di Bruto"

scholium project la serverita

Scholium Project "La Severita di Bruto"
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Sonoma, California
Year: 2012
Price: ~ $55 (A gift from Dana Gaiser, so not entirely sure)

Quite the day when you become the kind of person who can justify opening a rare wine on a random afternoon. I mean it's my job, but even now it feels foreign to me; like I'm still a broke 24 year old who can only afford overpriced $4 wine at the King Liquor Jr. and drinks the leftovers from stale glasses the following afternoon. But I'm not! And thank fucking god.

For those of you who have been here for awhile, you may remember that California Sauvignon Blanc is what made me take back publicly saying I hated white wine. I even had a cool catch phrase from a video review of Sauv-Blanc from my Wine Time webseries for Hello Giggles (which they have regrettably taken off the internet): "SAUVIGNON-BLANC, YA'ALL!"

That sounds like a stupid catch phrase now that I've written it down but believe me, in the video, it was said with such enthusiasm that for a long time, strangers would regularly say it to me and I ate that shit up.  

In the years that followed, I fell out of love with California Sauvignon Blanc. It had become fruitier-- even leaning sweet-- and was not the tightly wound rubber band ball of lemon and green apple that had made me reevaluate my relationship with white wine. California Sauvignon Blanc had gone soft, and as someone that only goes hard, I had lost my interest in it. But like most California wines that had once been written off, Sauvignon Blanc is back, and with a vengeance. Massican got me back on the train (a fucking delightful bottle I gobble up without even having the will power to take notes), and now here we are with this Scholium Project gem.

The Scholium Project, in general, is fucking badass and you should drink up all of Abe Schoener's curious and captivating creations. Which is truly what they are, creations. Or perhaps more accurately, concoctions. Small batch, experimental and totally offbeat, drinking his wines feel like you've just discovered a new band that you simultaneously can't wait to show your friends but also want to keep to yourself because you, like me, are a selfish asshole who has proprietary delusions over shit you have no actual ownership of. 

"La Severita" is first and foremost an extraordinary example of what California Sauvignon Blanc can be. It has all the quintessential Sauv-Blanc shit in there-- the citrus, the greenery, the subtle air of cat piss-- but within that well-structured frame, you find a kaleidoscope of beguiling and slightly bizarre nuances. It's nutty, it's basil-y, it's like taking a couple smooth rocks from the Malibu mountains, dusted with sea salt, and rolling them around in your palm. And hints of not one, but two succulents-- aloe, and Cactus Cooler, the ultimate orange pineapple blast

This wine makes me want to take of a case of it out to Joshua Tree and just stay there for as long as humanly possible while listening to the Talking Heads' "Road To Nowhere" on repeat. Just stay there forever. This could very much be my own personal and recent battle against nihilism taking hold, but fuck man. I just want to drink delicious wine and not give fuck about anything except living, and indulging in the nuances. In all those things that are so subtle we miss them in the day to day because we are too busy trying to get somewhere and going nowhere.

The nuances are what makes us. And yet, how often do we sit with them?

"La Severita" is a lesson in appreciating, and accepting, the nuances. And a good enough reason not to run away to find your own, because no one sells Scholium Project in gas stations in 29 Palms. And baby, it's alright. 

Tasting Notes: Green and golden on the eyes, and maple-y oxidation that comes across like lemon strawberry pancakes on the nose. On the palate, it's bright, medium-bodied, citrusy and nutty. It's surprising, and gripping, and a wonderful wine for those who love to ponder upon bottles. It's a dusty afternoon under the sun, with your thoughts, in a glass.

Ross Test: Pass with flying colors. But may I take the test again anyway, professor? 

marissa a. ross scholium project

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Sauvignon Blanc


Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $13.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Retailer: Club W

I never intended on drinking this wine, mostly because I never intended on having it in my home because I never intended to be a part of Club W. My friend Gennefer Gross, a fun-and-food-loving wino such as myself, gave me a coupon for three free bottles of wine from Club W. I got them, I drank them, I did not review them because they did not spark inspiration in my heart, and was like "Okay, that's Club W." 

But apparently I was drunk and totally missed the part where I redeemed my three free bottles but also signed up for a regular subscription.

So, here we are. With Club W's Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

My initial thought is that I hate it. It reminds me of the huge subdivision of wine culture that panders to new mothers and people who adopted "adorkable", with its cute name and its cute lettering. It's so "Teeheehee! I'm drinking wine!" which is the exact opposite attitude from my own.  

But I do not hate the wine, which is most important. 

Despite its Pottery Barn Kids' packaging, this is a decent Sauvignon Blanc that delivers. I am not overcome with revelations about it, which is fine. Not every wine has to turn my palate on its head. It tastes a lot like lemons. And it is quite easy to drink. So I can't be that mad at its name because it is extremely accurate, although I am kind of mad because the name is still too damn long and now I am drinking a wine that looks like I bought it off Etsy from an adorable twenty-something girl that focuses on font work. IT'S TOO CUTE.

The more I drink the more adorable it becomes, and the more accepting I become. It's a whimsical little lemonade stand that I am setting up on my porch for the only customer in the neighborhood that matters: ME.

Watch out. I may be stenciling shit by the end of the evening.

Tasting Notes: It tastes like a good Marlborough Sauv Blanc. Better than what you'll get at your chain grocery store, but not a unique take on the varietal. Light and tart, lemony and peppery, with nectarine and melon. I really wish I had a grilled chicken salad right now. 

Ross Test: Too cat pissy.

Rebel Coast's Sunday Funday


Rebel Coast's Sunday Funday
Region: Sonoma, California
Retailer: Sip! Wines' "Blends Have More Fun" Trio

And stay tuned for the rest of my reviews of the "Blends Have More Fun" trio!

I moved into my new house last year, in the dead end of the dog days of summer. It was far too hot to enjoy my backyard but now that spring is here and it's 76 and sunny, I'm trying to spend at least a couple hours every day out here. And many, many hours on Sundays. 

So this bottle of Sunday Funday defintely spoke to me when I opened up my "Blends Have More Fun" trio from Sip! Wines. 

Sip! Wines curates different trios of wine, all with fun, clever themes like "California Coast Road Trip", "Everything Is Coming Up Rosé" and "Play Your Chards Right". The trios are shipped straight to your door-- or your hotel if you have a trip coming up-- and are equipped with tasting notes, pairing ideas and information on the wineries. It's pretty sweet, and I'm super stoked to have three new blends to try.

And today, while my boyfriend pours mulch,
I'm pouring Sunday Funday.
Which wins best label designs.

First of all, the front side has everything illustrated that I love on it (besides my pets and my boyfriend and my sister and my Adidas Boosts). Then the back is basically a pass to do whatever you want to do with your day because the boys at Rebel Coast are proud of you, "even if your neighbors think otherwise". THEN you can PEEL OFF THAT LABEL and you HAVE A FUNNY TO-DO LIST! 

This would be the best gift wine ever just because the label is so fun. Take it to a picnic or a girls' night and complete the To-Do list! For me! Because I only have one ex from high school and he stalked me so I can't ever send him a selfie or even a pleasant "Hope you're well!", and the only public fountain near me is literally surrounded by punk vagrants, and my mom isn't on Facebook. 

The Sunday Funday has a stainless steel Chardonnay base, with Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. I'm not a huge Chardonnay fan, and this tastes mostly like Chardonnay, but the good kind of Chardonnay. It's not buttery or oaky (RE: stainless steel tanks bro), just straight up tropical notes. Lovers of fruitier white wines, this is for you. It's easy drinking with subtle complexity, so you can have a conversation about the palate or just drink the hell out of it. 

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are all considered very middle ground in terms of dry to sweet wines. If you're a fan of Moscatos and sweet Rieslings, this would be a fantastic bridge wine into new, drier varietals because it's really not that dry, and it's very juicy. My sister-in-law who I had to nearly fist fight to drink a Pinot Grigio would really love this. 

Give it a little time to open up and the fruit flavors become much more cohesive and smooth. Also a huge benefit of this wine is that I think it tastes better between cold and room temperature.

For my personal taste, this wine had a little too much fruit and viscosity on its own to just chug in the sun. But an added ice cube and a bag of Rusty's Island Potato Chips made it a perfect picnic for ONE. AKA ME. AKA ME RIGHT NOW. AKA ME FOR THE NEXT THIRTY SUNDAYS.



Tasting Notes: Smells like Viognier, tastes like Chardonnay and finishes like a Sauvignon Blanc-- Peach blossoms on the nose, pulpy Pineapple and Gala apples on the palate with a citrus melon musk finish. Very well balanced. I see this being a crowd pleaser at any weekend gathering.


Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc


Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $7.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Retailer: Trader Joe's

Well, I ended up turning on the AC and returning to my beloved Sauvignon Blancs.

Marlborough Sauv Blancs are all the rage these days. I feel like everyone is talking about them, or I have just met a lot of Aussies over the past couple years. Who knows. Either way, I knew I had to start getting into Marlborough SBs because uh, SAUVIGNON BLANC YA'ALL.

This isn't my first Marlborough rodeo. And yes, they are very good. But this is definitely one of the better ones I've had, especially considering the price point. 

I've been disappointed recently in California SBs, which makes it kind of hilarious that this bottle of Picton Bay from across the globe reminds me so much of California. It's all sunshine and The Beach Boys. It's just so fresh and fun, and a little sexy. 

This wine tastes like San Clemente, 2006. I'm nineteen and my only friends are ten surfers. We worked retail by whenever, and hit the beach by whenever. We all basically lived on the floor at my best friend's apartment down the street from Trestles. And that was it. Having enough money to buy booze and tacos and go to the beach. They'd surf, and I'd write HST inspired journal entries about my crushes on the sand. I wasn't old enough to drink, but the old man who owned the liquor store across the street let me buy anyway because he knew I always slept on the couch. 

When I had to move back home to Upland unexpectedly, one of my favorite memories, was that my surfer homies had the old man from the liquor store leave me the funniest voice mail about how everyone missed me. I was so miserable back home, and that really silly notion meant so much to me. I never wanted to let go of that time. Even when I was living it, I knew it that time was finite and I would miss it forever.

I wanted to always be sitting on the beach listening to The Beach Boys on my Sidekick 2 and drinking a 40 of Miller High Life with my whole life ahead of me. 

This doesn't taste like shitty beer and young unrequited love, but it does taste like lime and salt and hints of bell peppers and bougainvilleas clinging to the cliffs of Laguna Beach. It tastes like body surfing at Table Rock on the Fourth of July. It tastes like how your skin feels after being at the beach all day. It tastes like the best day of summer. It tastes like you have forever, and forever is all sunshine glistening on crashing waves, and endless possibilities.

I went into Trader Joe's today feeling broke. And I have come out tonight feeling like a million bucks for my eight and some change (after tax).


Tasting Notes: Light ocean breeze bouquet. Seriously, my only thought really is, where are the seagulls tho? They should come stock. Anyway, medium bodied but dry with enough crisp for me to love it (cause if it wasn't crisp, I wouldn't be here). This is going to sound insane, but if I could lick the cliffs of Table Rock beach, one of my favorite places on Earth, I seriously think this wine is what they would taste like. Briney, clean, straight forward, memorable, delicious. 

Ross Test: Not to quote Rihanna, but I mean, it's totally, CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE 

Un Saumon Dans la Loire 'La Boutanche' Sauvignon Blanc

Photo by Antoin Huynh

'La Boutanche' Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $14.99
Year: 2013
Region: Loire, France
Retailer: DomaineLA

Ah, June! The beginning of my favorite season, summer. With all its bikinis and white wine, what is not to love? And there isn't a better way to kick off the estival months than with a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc. #sauvignonblancyaall

I'm blinded with love over this bottle of Sauv Blanc. First of all, the La Boutanche label features what looks like a trout in a varsity jacket pouring a bottle of wine on its head. I'm sorry but if you see a label with a fucking trout in a fucking varsity jacket and you don't buy it, well, I mean, I don't want to say you're an idiot, so I will say that we have very different esthetic predilections. And you're an idiot! IT'S A TROUT! IN A VARSITY JACKET! IT'S THE COOLEST LABEL I'VE EVER SEEN.

Secondly, holy shit, this may be my new favorite Sauvignon Blanc of ALL TIME. It could not be easier to drink. So bright all over and so smooth going down. The palate on this bad boy is so fresh and citrus-y, with a crisp clean finish. It tastes like white cotton crew-necks hang-dried in a lemon orchard's summer breeze-- right before really cool Trout-Guy throws it on and rolls a pack of cigarettes into the sleeve, and you fall in love with him next to the gazebo in the downtown square during the Thursday night Street Fair in your hometown.

So, what I'm saying is, this wine is your summer fling. After drinking it, you're going to want to dance and make-out and drink more. And then fantasize about it all night. And wonder if you should text it tomorrow. 

Good thing you can guiltlessly take it to bed any damn night you damn well feel like. 

Tasting Notes: Super citrus on the bouquet and palate, with a nutty hint on the back end. Lovely brisk finish. Just so, so easy to drink. It's a joy. Perfect for fish and salad, definitely perfect for hot afternoons/evenings/whatevers.

Ross Test: Delicious, but more acidic than you'd expect. Although I love it, I love it enough to tell you to keep it in the glass and savor those butterflies.

Special thanks to Whitney Adams, who works at DomaineLA and is the best wine blogger/my favorite somm, for picking this out for me. It's awesome not only because the wine is fucking awesome, but because it's imported by Selection Massale. I love both DomaineLA and Selection Massale for their great range of small scale vintners that you definitely can't pick up at the grocery store (which sucks when you're stuck at Ralph's in a pinch, but makes the wines all the more special).