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Wine of the Week: Franciscan Estate 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

I know what you're thinking - "not another Sauvignon Blanc write-up" - but as I try to review every wine that is sent to me as a sample, it's unavoidable.

But, on the bright side, Sauvignon Blanc is probably one of the best wines suited for this incredible spring weather that has descended upon Houston, prompting the city as a whole to emerge from our brief winter cocoons. Sauvignon Blanc is light, fresh and sometimes herbal, citrusy and bright. At times, it can have a peppery bite that's just enough to kick your palate and remind you to pay attention, a quality I'm fond of in my white wines. And it's easy to find just about anywhere.

In short, Sauvignon Blanc is like spring in a bottle. But before I wax poetic, the Franciscan is a middle-of-the-road version. It's subtle, with lots of grapefruit that tingles the tongue and a tropical, distinctive bite not unlike guava. After a few sips, however, the flavors begin to mellow a bit, and the wine becomes a little too milquetoast, going down without much fanfare. It's not a bad thing, but the glass, as a whole, definitely doesn't knock my socks off.

Maybe it was my mistake when I first tried the wine with a heavy dish covered in a sweet, tangy, rich peanut sauce, which drowned out the subtleties of the wine, but on a second tasting (solo), it still seemed to lack a bit of oomph that I've grown to love in a Sauvignon Blanc. If you are interested in a milder Sauvignon Blanc with plenty of tropical notes, you'll find it around the city for approximately $17 a bottle.


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