Thursday, May 14, 2009

Suburban Blind Taste-off - White Wines under $10

Goal: Taste blind as many ten-dollar white wines from around the globe as we can and isolate the best ones in the bunch.

# of Wines Tasted: 88

Panel: 8 acid-resistant palates from the Suburban Staff

Scoring: 4-10 points, averaged, with highest and lowest scores for each wine dropped

In the top 12, we see wines almost exclusively from the southern hemisphere with an emphasis on Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chenin. Ironically, yet eerily common in our blind taste-offs, the #1 wine is the categorical exception in the lineup….it’s from the northern hemisphere and is made from a different noble white grape. Tap into any of this year’s players and you’re guaranteed a seriously-satisfying bottle of white!

#1: 2007 Sterling Cellars Vintner’s Collection Riesling $8.99
The wines of Sterling keep pushing their way back onto our shelves. There’s a reason why Suburban customers always ask for Sterling Cellars wines…..they’re just plain good! The VC Riesling—dynamite! Some sweetness, as you would expect, and a superb acid structure to serve as a base for the fruit and mineral side.

#2: 2008 Beyond Sauvignon Blanc $9.99
A playful and very obvious New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Smells just like a pepperoncini! Zesty, full-flavored and very long on the finish. This wine is hot stuff!

#3: 2008 New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc $9.99
Another aromatically-potent NZSB. Grass and jalapeƱo notes (no kiddin’!), and all the stuffing that makes them so popular.

#4: 2008 Ken Forrester Petit Chenin $9.99
This is not only very Chenin, but it is very Stellenbosch South Africa as well. Smoke and mineral nuances were a dead giveaway. Simply lovely.

#5: 2008 Excelsior Chardonnay $8.99
A chunky South African Chard this is not about oak. Excelsior is a repeat performer in this contest.

#6: 2008 Maipe Sauvignon Blanc $8.99
A rather classy Sauvignon here, coming out of Argentina. This could easily be taken for a Bordeaux Blanc.

#7: 2007 Oxford Landing Chardonnay $8.99
Balance is key! The Ox is a clean and seemingly oakless Chard, showing nice restraint for a new-world wine. This has officially appeared in the top ten more often than any other wine!

#8: 2008 Indaba Chenin Blanc $7.99
Gutsy and surprisingly fat in texture, this South African is exceptionally refined for its price.

#9: 2008 Los Vascos Chardonnay $9.99
Much more European-tasting than Chilean. The Rothschild family never ceases to impress. Dry, mineral and anti-oak with nice balance.

#10: 2008 Fair Valley Chardonnay $9.99
Clean with persistent fruit and an extended finish. A note of banana.

#11: 2007 Santa Carolina Chardonnay Reserva $9.99
A dense and oily Chilean. How about a Chardonnay with a real palate presence?

#12: 2008 Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc $9.99
One word to describe this Chilean SB…..Sassy! Errazuriz continues its impressive run of great showings in our taste-off results.

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