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Crisp and Clean - Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002
Chelle Christy for

It is always wonderful to taste a wine from an area with which you are familiar. There is something almost comforting about being able to pick out certain aromas or tastes in a wine that originates from some place close to home. Although my most recent tasting is from New Zealand (rather than my homeland of Australia), it is close enough to exhibit some of those characteristic antipodean qualities with which I am familiar. The wine I am talking about is Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002, which is now being imported to Guam by ANZ Wines.

Sauvignon Blanc is definitely my favorite variety of white wine. It has the richness of ripe fruit yet it usually retains a relatively dry quality. This is because there is only a hint of residual sugar in the wine itself. The Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002 is grown in a relatively cool and dry area which enhances those wonderful fruit flavors. In general it is a perky, fresh wine, almost spritzy on the tongue. The color is a clear straw yellow with the slightest hint of green. The green theme carries through to the aroma in that the wine smells of grass and citrus trees at the same time. On first taste, the palate explodes with seemingly uncharacteristic "tropical" type of fruit flavors such as passionfruitand lemon, although there still remain the herbaceous hints I would have expected for this wine variety. Interestingly, I was constantly reminded of asparagus every time I took a sip. The wine is medium bodied with a pleasing hint of sweetness and a wonderfully dry, crisp finish.

The Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002 really has two windows of opportunity in terms of cellaring. If you prefer your Sauvignon Blanc vibrant and fresh, you would need to consume it when it is young, probably within 18 months. However, there is something to be said aboutthe more mature Sauvignon Blanc characters that require further cellaring to develop. In this case, I would suggest leaving it for up to 5 years in good conditions before popping the cork.

Overall, I would recommend the Shingle peak as a very good example of Sauvignon Blanc. This wine goes particularly well with any seafood dish from warm octopus salad to fettuccini marinara. Served chilled it is perfect before a delicious fiesta, but may be overpowered by the barbeque ribs if consumed at the same time!

Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002 is available at Cost-U-Less for $11.19.


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