Oeno Files

Weekly Wine Pick: Mercer Estates Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley 2014

A superb example of an oft-forgotten Washington grape.

By Sean P. Sullivan August 18, 2015

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What: Mercer Estates Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley 2014 $13

Where: Pete’s Wine Shop, West Seattle Cellars, Whole Foods

Why: Sauvignon blanc seems to be somewhat of a forgotten grape in Washington, lying in chardonnay and riesling’s shadow. It is the state’s fourth most produced white variety (the aforementioned grapes and pinot gris sit in front of it) yet it never receives much attention or buzz. This seems a shame as it can make delicious wines and can also weather the warmer growing seasons we’ve had the past few years.

As a variety, sauvignon blanc is known for its herbal aromas and flavors; notes of grass and bell pepper are common, although tropical aromas of kiwi and pineapple become more common in warmer climates and vintages. Stainless steel aged offerings are out there but aging in some new oak is more common in Washington. As is the case in a number of other areas in the world, semillon is often used as a blending partner, adding weight to sauvignon’s sometimes tart and racy style.

The Mercer Estates 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley ($13) is a well-priced (and delicious) representation of what Washington has to offer with this variety. Tropical aromas of kiwi and pineapple lead to rich fruit flavors and tart acids–perfect for slaking your summer thirst.

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