Wednesday, June 04, 2008

2006 Cuvée Natalie - Brander Vineyards - Santa Ynez Valley - California

The 2006 Cuvée Natalie from Brander Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley is a pale yellow color with mineral and light lemon notes. Smooth with a roundness that some “zippier” wines might not have but… this also does have that acidic zip at the end.

This wine is a blend of 58% Sauvignon Blanc, 22% Riesling, 15% Pinot Blanc and 5% Pinot Gris. The Brander website describes the Cuvée Natalie as “An eclectic and aromatic Sauvignon-based off-dry wine, blended with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. All stainless steel fermented and bottled early to preserve its floral perfume” and from that you might think this is a “kitchen sink” type wine where they throw in their leftover white grapes.

I doubt the Brander winemakers really feel that way and you can tell immediately that this is a quality wine for what it is, a simply summertime white that would be excellent paired with food pairing. It has the zip to stand up to some spicier dishes and a roundness that would also go well with fuller fair like salmon or possible even a cheese based pasta sauce.

We bought this at the Brander Vineyard last summer on a trip to California but were just able to drink it now. It had lost its floral essence in that time.

They have since released their 2007 for $18 or $14.40 if you are a club member. At $18 I think it’s a nice wine to try a couple times. At $14.40, I’d probably be buying a lot more of this if they sold it in New York. I’ve yet to see it here though.

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