Comparative Wine Tasting: Value Sauvignon Blanc

31 05 2008

Lately some friends have requested wine reviews of white wines. Although I do drink far more red wine, I like quite a few whites as well. One of my favorite varietals is Sauvignon Blanc. I also want to make an effort to review some “value,” otherwise known as cheap or affordable, wines for people (like myself) who want to save a buck or two.

The result: my first ever comparative tasting.

The Turning Leaf was only $8.99, a fine bargain here in Pennsylvania. At first sip, I thought this was going to be my preferred wine of the two. It was extremely lemony and citrus-flavored, with a very high acid and strong mouth-feel. At only $9.99 the Lake Sonoma Wine was very light and delicate and felt like an innocent bystander to the turning leaf juice. The Lake Sonoma wine had more of a light yuzu and lemon-grass citrus effect, with a little bit of grassiness. The Turning Leaf was more of a heavy-handed funky, grassy wine that really exploded in your mouth. As I continued tasting between the wines and trying them with food, I found that the Lake Sonoma was far better at going along with foods and complementing them, whereas the Turning Leaf was so overpowering that it basically left my palate overwhelmed and made it hard to detect the flavors of the food. Nor did the Turning Leaf really add anything to the party when consumed with food. It clearly stands as more of a single note Sauvignon Blanc, maybe most enjoyed by the red wine drinker looking for a summertime white to quaff. The Lake Sonoma Winery Sauv. Blanc is more of a party pleaser, appealing to a wider palate range and more versatile with a variety of foods.

So, overall for me, the Lake Sonoma Wine wins the day, providing more options and thus more bang for the buck. The Turning Leaf wine is good for drinkers looking for a specific type of high-acid, aggressive mouth-feel wine.

Additionally, the site for lakesonomawinery provides far more information about the wine at hand, which can be really appealing to wine geeks everywhere. Information about the appellation, acid levels, and case production tells you volumes more than the Turning Leaf site, which is comprised mostly of buzzwords and marketing jargon. Very little information about the wine is available other than the fact that the grapes are sourced from all over California.

In the overall scheme of things, I wouldn’t give a terribly strong recommendation to either wine. Neither of them really left any great impression, but the next time you are looking for some inexpensive wine for a summer party, or to go with some seafood anytime, the Lake Sonoma winery Sauvignon Blanc might be worth considering.

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1 06 2008

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