Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sauv Blanc Rocks Naramata Bench

Seeing as how my last post might not have come across as one extolling the merits of Howling Bluff's wines as much as a post on marketing, I thought it'd be good to pull the cork on another bottle and just sing the praises of one fine Okanagan Sauvignon Blanc.

As much as the Okanagan Valley is home to many a fine white wine, it doesn't seem that a large number of wineries have jumped into Sauv Blanc production. Or maybe I just don't tend to gravitate much to them. There are always exceptions, however, and Howling Bluff's is one of them.

1844.  2012 Howling Bluff Sauvignon Blanc (VQA Okanagan Valley)

In taking an online look at Howling Bluff and Sauv Blanc, the majority of references are to the popular Sauv Blanc/Sémillon blend that the winery produces. For the last couple of vintages, proprietor Luke Smith has also made a varietal Sauv blanc - to some solid success. The web site proudly announces that its 2012 vintage was the "highest rated Canadian Sauvignon Blanc last year according to the National Wine Awards...in fact there was only one gold medal awarded in the Sauvignon Blanc category."

Of course, there was very little of the wine to be found - often a problem with boutique wineries. The Sauv Blanc is a winery tasting room only find as there were only 300 cases in 2012. I was lucky to make this my last stop following the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference that had just been held down the road in Penticton. There wasn't much left but I was able to grab some.

As might be expected from the Okanagan, there was bright acidity and plenty of fruit but I liked that the wine still had a nice balance and, overall, tasted more Sancerre than New Zealand - which is almost inevitably a good thing with me.

And topping that off was the fact that we paired it with mussels. Another inevitable win in my books.

Now, the task is to find some more.

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