Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring. It's Spelled SB.

As far as I'm concerned, the way to spell Spring is SB. Short for Sauvignon Blanc, the fresh, zingy, grassy, and citrus flavors of this grape variety seem to go perfectly with the longer, warmer days and the fresh produce that is beginning to show up in markets.

If you are looking for a good Sauvignon Blanc, but don't want the assertive New Zealand variety, nor the round and rich California style, why not try one from Burgundy? You may think that Chardonnay and Burgundy go hand-in-hand, but Ghislaine and Jean-Hughes Goisot demonstrate that some stunning examples of SB are made there in the Saint-Bris AOC. The Goisots grow their grapes using both organic and biodynamic guidelines, and I was pleased to discover the mineral qualities in this wine that I so often associate with fruit that is grown under biodynamic protocols.

The 2005 Ghislaine and Jean-Hughes Goisot St. Bris was a terrific example of a classically-styled Sauvignon Blanc. ($15.99, domaine547). The aromas were herbal without being too grassy, and there were also abundant citrus and just a touch of wet beach stones. The flavors were poised nicely between the green and juicy citrus elements of the wine, and the stone turned pleasantly chalky as it touched your tongue. There was a reasonably long finish, with just enough tartness to make your mouth water and want more. This was a definite rebuy, and very good QPR.

Get a jump start on spring cooking by pairing your Sauvignon Blanc with an equally springy dish just made for the wine that involves pasta, grilled vegetables, and goat cheese. This is a great opportunity to dig out your gas grill if you've got one, and if not the vegetables can be broiled or cooked on a stovetop grill pan. Once that's accomplished, you chop them up--radicchio, peppers, zucchini, squash, leek, and artichoke hearts--and toss them with cherry tomatoes, corkscrew pasta, and some tangy-creamy goat cheese. If you've never had goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc the two are made for each other, and you're in for a treat.

I know that in some parts of the country spring feels pretty far away right now. But this wine and the pasta dish that goes so nicely with it will make you feel like spring inside, even it it's still cold outside. And for those of us lucky enough to be smelling daffodils and seeing robins digging up worms already, we can just start enjoying the season in full.


Anonymous said...

sounds nice and as you stated I usually don't associate Burgundy with Sauv. Blanc varietal and usually turn to Sancerre for French versions. I will have to try this, it sounds very yummy and at a great price to boot.

Thanks for the veggie friendly recipe as well.
YUMMY all around


Marcus said...

Hi Debs,

This is fine Sauvignon. I've had it and their Aligoté too. Both are wonderful examples. But neither one is typical as these winemakers seem to me to be devotees of terroir more than style. Would love to try their whole line of St-Bris wines sometime.

As for your inclusive words that reach out to readers whose spring is still far off, I thank you.

(Montreal's temperature is not forecast to come close to rising above freezing for days -- even though it is technically spring now.)

Since I've got a ticket to SoCal soon, I thank your state too.

Dr. Debs said...

John, you're welcome. Look for more veggie recipes--I'm trying to eat more local food, which means vegetables. And Marcus, I'm not sure I get it. You mean not typical of a Saint-Bris Sauvignon Blanc? I've only had a few but they were like this wine in many respects. (Get yourself to SoCal quick!)