Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc
Well this past week was a quiet one around the house. We decided that a nice light and fresh meal was in order after all those heavy meals these past few weeks. We decided on sushi. We have spoken about sushi a few times on this blog. Sushi is one of those meals that is always fun yet hard to match with wine. We love tuna – so we had inverted cucumbers and avocado Ahi tuna rolls. There is nothing like fresh sushi. It has the crisp flavors of the cold fish, cucumbers, and avocado. We almost always make inverted rolls. Personally, I like to have the rice flavor on my tongue first and it looks so much prettier than normal rolls. They are a bit more work – but well worth it.
When you say crisp and clean, Sauvignon Blanc comes to mind (along with some Viognier). Sauvignon Blanc has recently become a new target for Parkerization. Parkerization is a bit extreme a term, but it does have a bit of truth to it. More and more wines are fat, chewy, oaky, and overly fruity. The true flavors of green and terroir are ignored and the single focused palate of Robert Parker, his likes and dislikes are thrown onto the poor winemakers. If he flags a wine high (based upon his palate profile) then it sells, a low score means it may well go into the ethanol heap. A bit extreme of course, but still very true.
So recently, I have been seeing fat and oaky Sauvignon Blancs – that have not impressed me as much as the clean lined Sauvignon Blancs. Sauvignon Blanc is all about clean lines, crisp acidity, elemental fruit (not the cloying kind), and green flavors. The famous cat pee of Australian Sauvignon Blancs are a demonstration of the country’s terroir and is one that is accepted within the overall community because of its truth to the wine.
So when picking the next Sauvignon Blanc for my Sushi – I reached for the Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc 2006. It is the favorite kosher Sauvignon Blanc on my table and amongst our friends. The Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc is nice, and the Yatir Sauvignon Blanc may well be the best one out there, but the Hagafen has the crazy grapefruit flavors that blow me away.
This bottle was a bit weird to be honest. When I opened it – it had some bubbles, which was weird. Also, the nose was dominated by yeast – until the bubbles subsided (some twenty or so minutes later). Yeast of course is the main proponent and ingredient for fermentation. My guess is that the wine in my bottle had not completed fermentation and was doing so in the bottle. This is not the first time, that wine I buy completes fermentation in the bottle, but I am surprised that a wine that is almost assuredly cold filtered would have allowed yeast to get through into the bottle. Still, white wine has been known to ferment the last of its sugar – without external persuasion. A higher score would have been in order had the bottle been still.
Hagafen Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2006 – Score A-
The nose on this straw colored wine was initially filled with yeast and yeast alone. After the bubbles in the glass subsided and the intense yeast profile subsided, the nose was delightful and as expected, filled with citrus, peach, grapefruit, and a hint of wood. The mouth on this wine started with yeast (even after the bubbles left the building) and a bit of fruit. The middle was packed with grapefruit, melon, and peach. The finish was long and satisfying and was packed with acidity that almost puckers your mouth along with just a hint of wood. A very nice attempt.