Cali-Loire-nia: Sauv Blanc Surprise Stunner (Sub-$25)

Posted by Joe Salamone

North of LA: The Loire Valley?
2012 Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc

Shocking. It is just shocking how good this wine is.

Let's be clear: Sauvignon Blanc, despite its world-renowned reputation, can sometimes be a bit awkward. A bit... well, pungent. (If tasting notes mention "cat urine," can it not be a bit pungent?)

As such, while we support Cotat every year and buy nearly any Vatan we can at any price, we are very selective about the Sauvignon Blanc category.

So it was a profound surprise - shocking really - to taste a set of Loire Valley varietals last month with RN74 alum Eric Railsback and simply be blown away.

I'm not sure the staff has ever so unanimously rallied around a Sauvignon Blanc (at least outside of Vatan) and when bottles were chosen last week for a rooftop staff party... Lieu Dit's Sauvignon Blanc was there.

While the grapes are sourced roughly 5,777 miles due west of Sancerre, on the palate the wine feels more Loire Valley than Central Valley California.

It is, above all else, a wine that highlights FRESHNESS. It is an incredibly clean Sauvignon Blanc: bright citrus tones that have the intensity of California fruit, yet the clarity and finesse of Sancerre.

What puts this wine so far above the others at its price is the balance... the seamlessness and elegance of the whole. While it does not have the "gloppy fruit syndrome" that can weigh down lots of California Sauvignon Blancs, it is also not a wine that uses acidity and cut as an excuse for a lack of concentration or complexity.

This has both.

Yet, this is for sure the bright side of Sauvignon Blanc and tremendous credit has to go to winemaker Justin Willet, who has done great work at Tyler as well. Sourced from various plots in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Sauvignon Blanc sees fermentation in both neutral wood and stainless steel, with all the wine going into neutral wood for the winter elevage. The wine is then bottled early in the spring... be released in perfect time for summer. This is a wine that will thrill fans of Sauvignon Blanc from France to New Zealand; the classic SB "zing" is here in spades.

With temperatures on the rise as we head into the dog days of summer, this is a wine to stock up on. Do we have to even say it? BACK UP THE TRUCK!

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2012 Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc

2012 Lieu Dit is in stock!
NET | No further discount