Five years ago, on November 26, 1994,
we tasted six representative Sauvignon Blanc (alias
Fumé Blanc) wines. Their average price was only $8.50. Today, there's a new
generation of Sauvignon Blanc costing $15 or more.
Are they worth it? Does an $18 Sauvignon Blanc taste
better than an $18 Chardonnay?
To get an answer, we selected a set of six 1997 Blancs
with an average price of $17, exactly twice that of the 1994 set.
Each was paired with a Chardonnay of the same price.
Here's what we found. (The wines that won their match by the
largest margin are listed last.)
|| Byron, Santa Maria Valley,
||Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, '97,
|| Gundlach Bundschu Sonorna
Valley, '97, $18
|| Robert Mondavi, Stags Leap
District, '97, $18
|| Sebastiani, Sonoma County,
|| "Cuvee Barrique" by Renaissance
North Yuba, '97, $17
Sauvignon Blanc won only two of the six matches.
However, the Blanc winning margin averaged 21.5,
while the Chardonnays averaged only 10.
This small test indicates these Better Blancs
are becoming competitive with America's favorite white,
Chardonnay. Try one with herb-roasted chicken.