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Casa Marin ‘Cipress Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc, 2007

July 11, 2008

~US$20, 100% Sauvignon Blanc, San Antonio Valley, Chile

Chile? No doubt this is exciting wine – in theory and practice. Take a white grape indigenous to the Loire valley and Bordeaux, put it in an even more exotic locale than New Zealand…say…mountainous granite slopes in Chile, facing the Pacific, and see what happens.

Pours very pale straw. Big nose hopping out of the glass…almost un-enticing, smokey diesel fumes at first, followed by more appealing broccoli, bell pepper, snap-peas and granny smith apples.

Smooth approach in the mouth, but a big wide spread of high-toned fruit (and vegetables) on the mid-palate. Lots of jalapeno pepper and wet stones. Sharp acidity closes the deal in a clean, mouthwatering finish. Tons of tartness here and quite a bit of funk alongside it – like a  “Garden” flavored Sour-Patch Kid (that probably didn’t do well in the focus groups).

The remarkable acidity and flavor intensity make this an intriguing pairing wine….Toro/Fatty tuna sashimi would be a perfect partner. It would rock with an avocado or simple guacamole. Or with a warm bacon salad.

This is a wine of serious personality and will be polarizing to many folks out there. It’s no tropical patio-pounder sauv-blanc. But I’m not sure if it’s a 95-point, genre-defining, or profound expression of the grape either. It’s just a well-crafted wine demonstrating that the old- and new-worlds can collide in totally unexpected ways and produce wines of character and value.

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