Wine of the Week: Casa Silva 2009 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc

Goodness gracious, this is a ballsy Sauvignon Blanc from the Colchagua Valley in Chile. It doesn't look like much in the glass, timidly light and unassuming in color and viscosity; barely discernable from ever-so-slightly yellow-green tinted water. However, the nose is incredibly strong, with sharp, almost dissonant notes of grapefruit, an unmistakable punch of guava and even a whiff of fennel. As Ron Burgundy might say, "it stung the nostrils" with a pungent combination of tropical and medicinal aromas.

The initial taste is citrus, citrus, citrus. There's lots of bright acidity right up front -- in my opinion, a bit too much. While acidity is always a good thing, especially with food pairings, this needs a little taming, and perhaps that will come with aging. With my tongue still reeling from the wallop of acidity, it took several sips and a lot of effort to distinguish the few nuances of minerals, lime zest and passion fruit that mellowed after the wine warmed to near-room temperature.

The citrus lingers on the palate for a long time, unrelenting and strong until the very end. If you're looking for something to pair with heavy, stinky cheeses, this would stand up well. But it would kill your tastebuds paired with anything less intense than a mild gorgonzola. If you're into extreme acidity or intense citrus and tropical flavors, this one's for you, but if you like subtle flavors and smooth drinking, you might want to go a different route, perhaps to France instead of Chile.

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