Humanitas2006 Sauvignon Blanc
Finally, a California Sauvignon Blanc I'm excited about — and for more than what is inside the bottle. First, Humanitas' founder, Judd Wallenbrock, makes his wines as a true labor of love — all of the profits go to various charities. And as if he weren't doing the world a ton of good with his all-profits-go-to-charity business model, the wines are delicious as well.
Take this Humanitas Sauvignon Blanc for instance. Too often, West Coast winemakers seem to treat the primary white grape of Bordeaux like they do Chardonnay — bombarding it with oak. Instead, Wallenbrock eschews oak entirely, resulting in a fresh, delicious white that features fruit instead of wood. It's not the most complex Sauvignon Blanc on the market, but it's clean, pure grapefruit and mandarin orange flavors are well balanced by acidity in a medium-bodied package. There is also an intriguing molasses note on the finish.
At $14 — and with screw cap closure — this is a terrific house white that really highlights the flavors of Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, instead of barrels. Wallenbrock is able to keep prices down by avoiding expensive oak barrels and by sourcing grapes from affordable areas of California.
Reviewed November 9, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.
Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,