Langenwalter, Sauvignon Blanc trocken, 2010
Don't tell this to anyone, but is true, I don't drink much Sauvignon Blanc. At least not voluntary. I drink it involuntary as it often is served at functions, such as the one I attended earlier this week at the Palace of Westminster. That particular wine was inoffensive, but often I find the aggressive fruit-bombiness of Sauvignon Blanc hard to stomach. It is as if it is shouting so loud to get your attention that you cannot actually hear what it says. Having said that, there is also really good Sauvignon Blanc, both from the new and the old world. Interestingly, some of the most pleasant specimens I have tried recently came from Germany. Yes, there is German Sauvignon Blanc.
This particular wine comes from the Pfalz, a region that continues to confuse foreigners with the wide range of grape varieties grown.
There are indeed a lot of red wine grapes grown on the vineyards of the Langenwalter family - almost fifty percent, in fact. The grow Portugieser, Dornfelder and Pinot Noir, plus the white Pinot varieties, Chardonnay, Riesling of course, Gewürztraminer and our dear Silvaner. The Langenwalter family have a lot of experience with wine growing as they have been at it since 17th century. How does that translate into the new arrival of Sauvignon Blanc?
The nose is quite typical but, thankfully, less in your face than the over the top style of SB that I am not too fond of. It has a lot of grass and herb, even menthol aromas, some green apple, citrus freshness and some vegetable notes - maybe not so much vegetable as vegetable leaves. At moments I also got fruit gum aromas, but overall the currant was stronger. The wine not only smells fresh, it also feels fresh thanks to citrussy flavours and lively acidity. So lively that at first I found it almost too intense (7g v 2g of residual sugar, I have been informed), but that impression soon disappeared. There is a lot of fruit too and herbs and grass show up again, with the interesting addition of faint black tea leaf flavours. The good acidity gives the finish a nice afterburner effect that adds to the fresh feeling.
From the Langenwalter SB you get a lot of freshness, a lively wine with a good presence and much, but not too much, fruit. It may not have the complexity to be truly great, but at a suggested retail price of £11.50 (mine was a free sample) you might not expect that anyway. Most importantly you get a very drinkable Sauvignon Blanc that goes down easily - I wish they would serve this one at the Palace, but if I say it too loudly my English wine friends will start a rant that it should be English Bacchus after all.