Part of the fun of visiting wine country is to look for wine from the vintage and wineries you visited when you get home. Since every vintage of wine is a little different, the wine you taste at the winery (or from the barrel, if you are so lucky) can be completely different from wine produced in the year you visit. Since visiting Sonoma in August 2009, I have been on the lookout for 2009 wines to start hitting my grocery store shelves.
One of the first wines to be released from any vintage are whites, specifically Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc, usually is fermented and “aged” in steel tanks—so it does not take as long to mature as other whites, or certainly red wines (although there are aged Sauvignon Blancs too). As I was looking through our grocery store’s wine selection for a light white wine to pair with salmon for my 4th of July BBQ, I saw the 2009 Benziger Family Sonoma/Lake County Sauvignon Blanc in the refrigerator section, and decided I had to try it.
Benziger Winery is a certified Biodynamic winery located in Glen Ellen, CA (in Sonoma Valley). For the 2009 Sonoma/Lake County wine, the grapes are 60% from Sonoma County and 40% from Lake County (which stands in contrast to the 2008, where the grapes were more from Lake County).
A light pale color in the glass, the first scent on the nose is lemon with fresh acidity. The wine has a light taste with an excellent balance between acid and alcohol with lemon, grapefruit, and very, very mild grass coming through. This was a very enjoyable summer wine that paired well with cedar plank salmon. A bottle runs $10.99 retail (*** 1/2).