Many times I like to compare the same varietal from multiple winemakers at the same time. Using the same varietal, winemakers never make the same wine. There are many variables such as vineyard, appellation, soil, and of course winemaker style. If a winemaker is given quality fruit he or she can make a great wine. You can never make a great wine out of bad fruit. On the flip side, a winemaker can have great fruit and make a bad wine.
Here is a case of two wineries making a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. The wines are mostly the same with a few variations. However, the wine making for each is different.
Here are two key differences:
Charles Krug – Fermented and Sur Lie (the dead yeast is not removed and generally enhances structure and mouth feel) aged for 7 months in stainless steel.
Conn Valley Vineyards – Fermented in stainless steel then racked into neutral French oak to soften the wine.
Charles Krug – 12.7%
Conn Valley Vineyards – 15.3%
Thin color depth with a gold hue.
Aromatic young-fruity aromas of grapefruit, lemon.
Dry, light+ body and the acidity is balanced. I could feel the acidity on the sides of my mouth. It was crisp and refreshing with a medium length finish. A good palate cleanser…
How much: $40.00
Region/Appellation: Napa Valley
Thin color depth with an amber hue.
Aromatic young-fruity with aromas of grapefruit and lime.
Dry, light+ body and slightly tart. The acidity was felt on the side of my mouth.
How much: $35.00
Region/Appellation: St Helena, Napa Valley
Both wines are great. As I said, with the same fruit a winemaker can go in many directions. Its like cooking. Same ingredients and a chef can make many variations of the same meal.
Life is too short to drink crappy wine. Expand your palate and keep trying.