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October 30, 2007

06 J. Christopher, Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc

This wine is so dry and austere that the corked bottle I opened first actually had a richer aroma. Granted, the smell of wet, moldy rug isn't really what you're ever looking for in a wine, but it says something that the clean bottle is so muted. Yet you can sense how sharp it really is--all that great grapefruit acidity, like sucking right on the pith, and white pepper. Once the wine comes up to temp, the aromatics get more intense, the flavors more crisp and delineated. It's no surprise that this is J. Christopher--the same winery whose 2004 Croft Vineyard I said was America's greatest sauvignon blanc. It was. And this compares, depending on how much ripeness you want in your whites. The finish is slightly sweet, the way a decent Cali sauv blanc can finish with a touch of powdered sugar. But you shouldn't really care. This is one wine, the 2004 (now just about dead) another. And in this generation, I'm excited by how much great juice the Northwest is producing. All this from only 66 total acres of the grape (in all of Oregon!). I love the green citrus and pungency. I guess it's en vogue to call it "cat pee," but really it's very much like key lime topped with a bit of meringue. Green mangoes topped with salt. The salt of the earth. Whatever the rest of the world filters through.


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