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Senior editor Dana Nigro joined Wine Spectator in 1998. She is managing editor of WineSpectator.com.
Dana Nigro

A Vibrant California White for Shrimp

Honig Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2008

Dana Nigro
Posted: May 27, 2010

The warm spring weather has had me in the mood for a juicy, lively Sauvignon Blanc, so when my husband and I made shrimp scampi for dinner one recent night, I reached for Honig’s 2008 bottling from Napa Valley. This Sauvignon Blanc is definitely in the California style, with lush, ripe fruit and none of the grassy character the grape exhibits in many regions.

Intense aromas of honeysuckle and tropical fruit match the succulent passion fruit, mango and honeydew melon flavors, livened up with a big squeeze of lemon and lime. The wine—used in the dish as well as drunk with it—gave the food an almost Caribbean twist, as if I'd given the shrimp a fruit glaze instead of just traditional garlic and butter. 90 points, non-blind. I had picked this white up for $18 at Whole Foods in Manhattan last year, but the 2008 is still on the market, often for less. With 50,000 cases made, it's relatively easy to find.

The grapes come from Honig's estate vineyard in Rutherford, as well as other sources. Michael and Stephanie Honig run their Napa Valley property sustainably, using cover crops in the vineyard, setting up nesting areas to lure in bluebirds and bats for pest control, installing solar panels and using biodiesel in the farm vehicles, among other practices. The couple, who live on the property with their two young children, are very passionate about the subject: Michael helped draft the first Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices for the Wine Institute, and Honig winery was one of the pilot participants in the new Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Honig Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2008 (88, $16).

Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among California Sauvignon Blanc.

Anthony Dixon
Atlanta, GA —  June 1, 2010 2:24pm ET
Hey Dana,
I have long felt that this is a great story; for a family to stick to its collective guns and do what they do best. While they do make Cabernet Sauvignon (for which they could easily charge more considering they are in the heart of Rutherford), they continue to make one the very best Sauvignon Blancs in all of California at a more-than-fair price. Bravo to the Honig family.

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