Happy Wine of the Week Wednesday, everyone!
This recommendation comes from Patch reader Chef Frank of Woodbury. To check out recipes and other kitchen experiments, visit From the Kitchen of Chef Frank. This week's wine is 3 Stones 2011 Sauvignon Blanc.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape originated in the Loire Valley and spread to the Burgundy regions where, sometime in the 18th century, it was cross-bred with Cabernet Franc grape to produce Cabernet-Sauvignon.
The Sauvignon Blanc variety nearly died out in 19th century France because of the Phylloxera epidemic, but there were cuttings that had been planted in Chile before the plague that were used to reestablish the variety in France.
The first plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in the United States occurred in the 1880s. However, the wine made from these grapes weren't well liked because of strong grassy notes.
In 1968, Robert Mondavi tried barrel aging a batch of wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and released it under the name “Fumé Blanc” because the finished product closely resembled a French Pouilly-Fumé.
In contrast, the Chilian producers harvested their Sauvignon Blanc grapes at different times in the growing season, blending characteristics that the grape has at different times in their development.
When New Zealand started growing Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the 1970s, they adopted the Chilean method of winemaking and because the colder climate and wide diversity in the soil allowed for a wider range of flavor in the grapes, more blending opportunities existed to produce a wine that ranges from grassy to fruity.
The 3 Stones Winery is located in the Marlborough region of the North Island and is considered one of the prime areas for growing grapes in New Zealand.
They delivered their first batch of wine in 2002 and have developed a reputation for producing consistently good wines.
This 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is a fine unoaked white with grassy herbs, lemon grass, a big dose of white roses, and sour orange peel in the nose, with hints of flint, citrus, kiwi and strong grassy notes in the mouth with a long acidic grassy finish.
Food and Wine Pairings
This wine would pair well with fish, white meats, tart cheeses (especially Chèvre) and shellfish — in particular, oysters.
At an average of $11.99 a 750ml bottle, I would recommend this for light summer dinners, or as an afternoon quaff to quench your thirst on a hot day.
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