Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2011


California, $55

There seem to be an endless number of acolytes of Sauvignon Blanc these days. Driven by the wines Kim Crawford and Oyster Bay, they have no problem plunking down $25 for a grape that never used to rise above $12 in any new world iteration. And I don’t really blame them—I enjoy drinking most NZ Sauvignon Blanc, and they’re as reliable as a Volvo in delivering a refreshing shot of citrus, gooseberry and just a sweet hint of melon. But it’s that very reliability that keeps me from fully joining the revolution: I need some surprise, heck, even some disappoints to keep me excited.

So when I was Sonoma Coast tasting bottle after bottle of the best cool Pinots I needed to mix things up a bit, so at Merry Edwards—whose Pinots are amazing—I took a detour and reached for a glass of her Sauvignon Blanc. My expectations were not high; California SB in general gets little respect, and who in their right mind would grow this grape in the heart of Pinot country, either stylistically or financially?

And, of course, it was amazing. Take a step back, and say “Whoa, amazing.” At $32, it was both half the price of the Pinots and the most expensive new world SB I’d had in a long while. It’s tough to find up here—my friend Paul is on their list so always seems to have a bottle, but Bin 905 and Highlander in Calgary carry it and the price is near $50. But if you’re one of those people who love SB this is your next special occasion bottle. It sees some oak and that saps some of the freshness but not that much and theBordeaux-like depth and complexity more than make up for it. There’s lychee, peach, pear, there’s all you could want frankly. It’s awesome.

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