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by Fred McMillin
for August 30, 2000

 

A Blanc with Sock


Prologue

Charles Krug  
The problem with California Sauvignon Blanc has been that growers learned they could perform certain acts on their vines, such as stripping off leaves, that allowed our relentless sun to bake every last bit of flavor out of the grapes. Once they had done that, they could use oak chips and come out with a wine that tasted almost exactly like one of those mooshy $8.49 Chardonnays.

...(Wine authority Bob Thompson, S.F. Examiner, 1999)


Napa To The Rescue

Critic Thompson went on to say that there now are some recent bottles that are "salvaging the reputation of Sauvignon Blanc." His top four were all 1997 and 1998 vintages from the Napa Valley.

Let's see what Examiner critic Bill Citara said about the Charles Krug 1988 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley.

    "This venerable Napa Valley winery is said to be upgrading its product as of late, and it shows in this most recent release...on the palate it's richer and oakier than most of its counterparts, with flavors of pineapple and tropical fruit giving way to a long, full finish."

So we tasted the 1999 twice, a week apart and with different dishes. with no hesitation, this is our Wine of the Week.


Baby, It Ain't Mooshy

1999 Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley,
Price—$13
Tasting Notes—BANG
Oak - No chips. French and American oak barrels provide a gentle clove backdrop.
Varietal Flavors—The famous herb-mineral flavors of the grape are classic Sauvignon Blanc. I'm going to use it in my fall Fundamentals course.
The 1974 Vintage—Good Krug Blanc is not new. Here's author Robert Balzer's review of the '74.
"Clean wet-sand bouquet, gentle, balanced, silky body, VERY GOOD rating. A lovely wine to serve with broiled swordfish or sole."

So what's new?

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 
 


This page created August 2000

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