Starborough Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand, 2010
Before I start on this, I have to warn you: this is my first time writing a blog wine description, (I may have published a couple more, but this is the first I wrote) if that’s what you want to call it. When I first started the concept of the blog, I initially didn’t think I would delve into this, but the more I think about it, we wine junkies, this is what we live for: for most of the world, wine is a beverage, like coffee, it tastes good to us (or not) it has a desired effect and we go on to whatever’s next in the day. That’s fine, maybe even normal, but we cork-heads don’t think of it that way: for us wine is an intellectual pursuit, the fascination of different creative expressions as given to us by deft winemakers and mother earth intrigues us, and that art is so subjective, the discussion of said art is an intellectual debate that stimulates us, and part of the reason we drink.
So this is at foray into that intellectual discussion. Bear with me. For my this Bottle Friday, I chose a wine I happen to know well: Starborough. It’s a Gallo product and I got to see the final blends put together for the 2011 product at the Healdsburg plant where I spent harvest. I also got to raid out-going library inventory, which may or may not be where this bottle came from.
I don’t remember if I was able to confirm this (and if I was, would I be able to tell you? …the plot thickens…) but this very much the type of wine that would be a product of the whole-sale wine market. What does that mean? No, Gallo is not buying nor selling this wine exclusively through Costco. The whole-sale market, is when a winery acts as a “negociant” and buys other wineries’ extra wine and then blends them to make the best possible wine they can. It would make sense then, for Starborough to be a great representation of Marlborough in 2010.
And that’s exactly what it is. For those of you not familiar with Marlborough, or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the first thing this wine does for you is jump out of the glass with the flavors of asparagus, green Bell Pepper, lemon and grapefruit. However, after letting it air out a bit, I noticed quite a bit of white pepper and a bit of lychee as well.
But how does it taste? The answer to that question is pretty simple: like acid. If you’re the type to enjoy eating grapefruit straight, you’re going to like this wine quite a bit. It’s very crisp, bordering on being just simply tart. When I decided to think about what was in my mouth other than just acid, I did notice that is was a little fuller bodied than most Savvi’s, but really, that’s like noticing the color of the smoke when your house is on fire.
So food? I’d imagine a bunch of you already have ideas about how to pair a good Sauvignon Blanc- salads, fish and poultry, and the standard light fare. What did I pair the wine with? Tyson’s Buffalo-style Chicken Strips. It worked beautifully, for those not yet familiar, acidity cools off spiciness, and this was definitely a war of wills between the Sauvignon Blanc and the chicken’s heat, but I enjoyed it.
I guess what I’m getting at, after all of that, is I would recommend this wine; but you have to be ready for some acid. It’s a good wine, lots of flavor and great to pair with food. For $10? I highly recommend it. Definitely worth your money.