Finding the best Sauvignon Blanc these days is a little harder than it used to be - there are so many. In fact, over the last few years, Sauv Blanc has been one of the fastest growing wines in production. That’s great! However, as Sauvignon Blanc catches fire, more and more brands start producing said wine to capitalize on the wave of interest. Turns out, not everyone should be producing one. Some brands straight up suck at it. Others try to make wines with sub-par fruit or from places that don’t grow high quality grapes. This happened to Merlot over a decade ago. Merlot was fantastic (and still is) but it got a bad rap because a large portion of wine producers were more worried about producing a Merlot than they were about producing a GOOD Merlot.
Sauvignon Blanc is a pretty cool grape. Depending on where it’s grown, it produces a wine that can vary dramatically - from “grass and cat pee” to “tropical and rich.” California grapes tend to land in the middle of the spectrum all of the way up to quite rich due to the warmer climate. The vine is very vigorous meaning it grows really fast, has lots of leaves, shoots and fruit. Did you know that farming plays a role in the quality you get from the grapes? We know it!
Now that we’re on the Sauvignon Blanc subject, we thought we would do some of the leg work for you and pick some of the best Sauvignon Blancs in California. Of the wines chosen, some are newer in our lives while some have been producing excellent Sauvignon Blanc for as long as we can remember.
There isn’t a particular vintage we recommend here. Hanna is known for their well priced Sauvignon Blanc. They have been around for years and have been very consistent. That fact, along with the quality to price ratio, puts them on our “go to” Sauv blanc list. This wine tends to be somewhere in the middle of lean and rich - it doesn’t lack fruit or acidity. Also, not that we give a shit, but James Suckling gave the 2019 a 92pt score.
Price per bottle: $12-$18
Duckhorn is on a mission to take over the wine business. Depending on the brand, they range from high to low pricing. Decoy is more affordable than most of the other brands in the Duckhorn portfolio. Because Duckhorn wants to cater to as many people as possible, the wines under their brand are usually very solid. Decoy’s Sauv Blanc is just that - it’s crisp, clean and tends to be on the rich side. Yum! The wine is a quality blend of regions which help with the consistency achieved year to year. Pretty much everyone gave this a 90pt score in 2019. Good job Decoy.
Price per bottle: ~$20
This winery has been producing nice wines for a long time. They tend to skew on the more restrained side (in a good way), especially with their red wines. We happily include them in the list.
Price per bottle: $23-$27
This is another Sauvignon Blanc with a history of consistency. We’ve seen many housewives smashing this atop their ice cubes. Bill Foley, a billionaire ‘friend of friends’ recently purchased this winery. The wines will not change much, if at all. Generally, part of this wine sees a few months in neutral oak - this can help round out the wine. With the smoke of 2020, we’ll see how theirs turned out. Ours turned out great.
Price per bottle: Around $12-$18
Truthfully, I haven’t had this wine BUT my brother/business partner/Sauv Blanc enthusiast really likes it and said we should include it. Done, Aaron. Done. It’s a smaller production from a more specific growing region (Carneros)… so, that’s cool.
Price per bottle: $25-$28
Another Aaron favorite. I’ve actually had this one and I agree. It’s really nice. It’s rich, clean and crisp all at the same time. For the price, you can’t really beat it in Napa Valley. Pull out this bad boy and you’re sure to impress your friends (at a lower price than many Napa wines).
Price per bottle: $25-$28
Another bigger production that is very consistent. Geyser Peak is now owned by Francis Ford Coppola (he’s directed a movie or two you may know). This wine is another go to over the years - giving you everything you might want in a Sauv Blanc while keeping your pocket puffy with cash. #MONEY
Price per bottle: $9-$12
We’ve used this fruit in our Sauvignon Blanc in the past (pretty sure we didn’t sign a “non-disclosure”). The vineyards where these grapes come from are near the massive lake in Lake County. And guess what...a little bird told us that they are moving to purely organic farming - sweet! This wine is rich and balanced with hints of tropical and herbal. Are you drooling? I’m drooling!
Price per bottle: $20-$25
That’s basically it! Go grab a couple bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and compare them to others you try.
Pick a favorite. Have fun. Drink Lucky Rock (snuck that in there).Lucky Rock Sauv Blanc
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Chilled Red Wines
If you have not had a chilled red wine, it can be quite the mental pivot. Truth-be-told, most people drink red wines too warm and white wines too cold. As they say...“the worse the beer, the colder you drink it”.
Wine cocktails have a bad rap and we can think of a few folks to blame for that. Maybe the culprit is your wine cooler swilling Aunt Karen who conveniently brings two and and a half bottles of Bartles & Jaymes to family gatherings and decides it’s the perfect time to hop on an emotional rollercoaster (awkwaaard). Or maybe it’s because of trendy, millennial influencer Saraa (note: no “h”, double “a”) that frequently posts IG pics of “the squad” draining bottomless mimosas at brunch.
Either way...it’s time to take back wine cocktails from the hands of hammered Aunts and trendy influencers.
How are we gonna do that you ask? Well, by showing you some great options for mixing wine with booze and mixers.