Having already put two of Franciscan Estate’s signature wines, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley and 2008 Chardonnay Napa Valley to the test, we decided it was high time to complete the trifecta with the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley.
For some 35 years Franciscan Estate has focused on blending the best from hundreds of lots to craft fine wines that fully express the classic varieties and their vineyard origins. The winery, which is marketed by Constellation Wines U.S., produces a mid-range Napa Valley tier of wines including a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Magnificat, a red wine blend of classic Bordeaux varietals, and Cuvee Sauvage, the first Napa Valley Chardonnay to revive the lost art of wild yeast fermentation.
After cracking the bottle and letting the wine breathe for a bit, we poured it in the glass and gave it a good solid swirl. On the nose there was a strong minerality at first, followed by yummy hints of peach and citrus. As the wine opened up a bit, we got strong hints of golden honey, which made us super excited to dive in.
Drinking it on a hot Summer evening, the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc was crisp and refreshing with a full, supple mouthfeel. At 13.5% alcohol by volume, the wine was very well integrated (not at all overly acidic, which can sometimes be the case with a given a 100% Sauvignon Blanc), showed nice hints of lime throughout and pleasantly surprised us with its long finish.
The variable Spring weather in 2008 gave way to an ideal summer season, producing a small crop with effusive, classic Sauvignon Blanc flavors. Pale straw in appearance with aromas of rich grapefruit, lime zest, and lychee. The flavors are fresh, full, and lively with vibrant layers of lemongrass and citrus, hints of melon, and a long mineral finish with grapefruit and bright lime flavors.
Suggested retail price is $17 per 750ml bottle, though it can be found online for several dollars less.
One of the few 100% Sauvignon Blancs to have pleased our palates in recent memory. A perfect companion for appetizers such as fresh shrimp or crab cakes, Summer salads and even fruity desserts (gotta love the versatility of a well done Sauvignon Blanc). The kicker is the sub-$20 price tag, which makes it a no brainer in our book.
Full Disclosure: We received this wine as a sample.