Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Savory Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc, France's other noble white grape, sings different songs depending on where it is grown and how it is made. Whether cool crisp jazz, lush orchestral score, or peppy pop.
July 18, 2018

Its essence, with an herbaceous edge like juniper in a dry martini, shines through. This week six delicious arrangements, from California, Oregon, France's Loire and Bordeaux and New Zealand, show off its range. 

David Schlldknecht called Claude Riffault"one of the five or six most exciting estates in the Sancerre appellation." We have thought so for years. Stephane Riffaultmakes five white Sancerreseach from different plots. This year we chose his Boucauds.which comes from Terres Blanches soils – marls and clays over Kimmeridgian limestone. It is half barrel aged which makes it rich and spicy in the mouth, delectable with seafood of all sorts.

Menetou Salon lives in the shadow of its more famous neighbor Sancerre. The commune of Morogues has its best terroir. There Paul-Henri Pelle, extolled in France, but virtually unknown here, makes Sauvignon that rivals that of Sancerre. On a visit there I tasted his best vineyard, Les Blanchais. From 50 year old vines on the same Kimmersigian soils as those of Sancerre It is rich and ample, ready for drinking now.  We are the only store to have it. 

Sauvignon Blanc is the secret white grape in Oregon's Willamette Valley. The best of the few made show more vigorous and decisive finesse than either the better known chardonnay or pinot gris. This is one of them. Rock guitarist Jay Somers in partnership with Ernie Loosen made J Christopher Sauvignon Blancfrom Croft Vineyardin 2014that is worthy of the name Uber ("super", not the ride company). It has high notes and low, rich creamy texture and a grassy elegant minerality.

Denis Dubourdieu's day job was Professor of Oenology at the Université de Bordeaux. His passion was Sauvignon Blanc. At two small chateaux, Clos Floridene and Reynon, he pioneered a newer, fresher style for the grape in Bordeaux. The 2016 Reynonis one of the best I have tasted from this chateau, fresh clean and dry, but exuberantly fruity too. No oak to confuse the issue.

I fell in love with Bevan Cellars Napa Sauvignon Blancat first taste. Although rich in texture, it has a finely tuned and precise pretty acidity with good body. Its fine silver deposit is evidence of its natural winemaking. Unlike more commercial wines, it is not fined, filtered or cold-stabilized. We only have bottle inventory of the 2016. We will transit to the 2017.

The St Clair Estatein New Zealand's Marlborough region. From premium Wairau sub-region, it has the trademark New Zealand gooseberry marker, but is much better modulated than most. Without the shadow of a cloud, we found it more expressive and balanced than the more expensive mass market leader. We think you'll like it a lot.



2017 Claude Riffault Sancerre Les Boucauds; Aroma: dense fruity, firm, sweet ripe acidity; Mouth: clean soft rather fleshy nice flinty quality, firm, dense; Very Good Plus32; Mixed Case, 28.80; Case, 27.20

2015 Domaine Pelle Menetou Salon Morogues Les Blanchais;  Very Good - Excelleny29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

2016 Ch Reynon(Bordeaux Blanc); Aroma: mineral, herbal rather dry, very full, fat rich, sweet acid very rich; Mouth: bright acid, rather clean, firm, tight spicy, herbal, long; Very Good Plus18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2014 J Christopher Uber Sauvignon Blanc Croft Vineyard; Mouth: Clean creamy rather dense, fine acid, fine acidity, clean long; Very Good - Excellent24.99; Mixed Case, 22.49; Case, 21.24

2016 Bevan Cellars Sauvignon Blanc; Aroma: light fresh and clean, rounded very pretty finely delineated acidities; Mouth: juicy very dense thick, full, rather dense, very rich very dense, rich; Very Good - Excellent 37; Mixed Case, 33.3; Case, 31.45

2017 Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc; Aroma: sweet intense, rich, heady , dense gooseberry &  passionfruit; Mouth: soft , leanish,  fine acid, bright clean acid nicely firm, spicy, finishes with sweet fruit over acid, very nice balance; Very Good Plus24.99; Mixed Case, 22.49; Case, 21.24


7/18 Sauvignon Blanc Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $286

7/18 Sauvignon Blanc Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $152 

- may incur delivery charge

Or you can mix

 Any six - 11 bottles of the above for a 10% discount

 Any twelve bottles of the above for a 15% discount


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com


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           - Len Rothenberg