Wine of the Week: Intipalka Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This is the only time I've ever tried a wine from Peru, a country not revered for its winemaking (at least here in America). It's refreshing to taste a little-known wine that is well representative of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal.

Found only at the Spec's in Midtown - a recent arrival just last month - the Intipalka brand is one of the only Peruvian wines available in all of Houston, which makes it a good deal, in my opinion, at only $15 a bottle. This sample was given to me by a buyer at Spec's particularly enthusiastic about introducing Peruvian products to the American market (just last month, he partnered with Spec's for a Peruvian wine-pairing dinner).

According to Wine-Tasting-Reviews.com, and my own love of the varietal, Sauvignon Blancs "range from grassy to mineraly to fruity," and I have to say that this bottle represented all three, with more balance between herbal and fruit flavors like green apples and peaches, and aromas mirroring those. The minerals were less pronounced, but there nonetheless.

With a great growing climate at the base of the Andes in Ica, Peru -- year-round mild weather with plenty of warm sun, yet light humidity -- the grape flourishes here, and in turn, so does the wine.

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