A California White for a Waterside Spread

Benziger Sauvignon Blanc Lake-Sonoma Counties 2008
Dana Nigro
Posted: September 18, 2009

On Labor Day weekend, my husband and I headed down to the Jersey shore, hopeful that the sunny skies and slightly cool weather would make for a perfect day of boating. As we neared Barnegat Bay, however, a herd of low gray clouds settled in over the water as if they had arrived laden with beach chairs, towels and a stack of good books for their own long weekend.

We made the best of it though, armored in our fall fleeces against the persistent wind. After a leisurely tour in the shelter of the bay, my parents docked where we could watch the ducks, geese, swans and egrets. Mom brought out a spread of crackers, tapenade, hummus with asparagus and fresh fruit, and I cracked open a (screwcapped) bottle of Benziger Family Sauvignon Blanc 2008.

While the Benziger family members farm biodynamically on their Sonoma Mountain estate, they work with a number of other California growers, whom they ask to follow eco-friendly practices. This wine, a stainless-steel-fermented blend of Sauvignon Blanc from seven vineyards in Lake and Sonoma counties, is certified sustainable through the Farming for Flavors™ program, developed by Benziger and overseen by the independent third-party Stellar Certification Services.

Bright and lively, the Sauvignon Blanc's generous sweet citrus and grassy flavors sang above the mélange of flavors on the table, its juicy acidity leaving our palates refreshed for the next bite. 88 points, non-blind, and a great value at $13. The weather may not have felt like summer, but the wine sure did.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Benziger Sauvignon Blanc Lake-Sonoma Counties 2008 (89, $13)

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Sauvignon Blancs, as well as our quick list of Easy Finds among California whites.

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