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Sauvignon Blanc True To its Grapes
By Fredric Koeppel
Awine of purity and intensity is one that is faithful to the grapes from which it is made and that displays the character of those grapes with marked eloquence and lack of interference. Such a one is the Hall Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Napa Valley.
The old saw says that to make a small fortune in the wine business you start with a large fortune. Craig and Kathryn Hall certainly possessed at least one requirement then when they purchased a historic old winery and 500 acres of vines in Napa Valley’s St. Helena area in 2003. Craig Hall is founder and chairman of Hall Financial Group, with myriad real estate and hotel interests and a former co-owner of the Dallas Cowboys and so on; his wife is the former ambassador to Austria. While the estate is best known for its complex and layered cabernet sauvignon wines, this sauvignon blanc serves as a model in miniature of their philosophy and the talents of winemaker Steve Leveque.
Made all in stainless steel from organic grapes, the Hall Sauvignon Blanc 2010 is a delicate pale straw color with faint green highlights. Aromas of nectarine, pear and melon breathe from the glass, underlined by notes of dried thyme and cloves and a touch of fig and over-arched by winsome hints of jasmine and honeysuckle. Yeah, try and keep yer nose outta that! This is quite dry, smooth and suave in texture, but enlivened by bright brisk acidity and scintillating limestone-like minerality that serve as counterpoint to the ethereal spareness of lemon, pear and grapefruit flavors. A lovely aperitif but even better with uncomplicated roasted or grilled fish or seafood.