Urging Reviews of American Sauvignon Blanc-Semillion Blends
Charlie Olken, a man who has seen and tasted more wines than 99.9% of us, makes an interesting observation in the latest Connoisseurs Guide Blog Post: Why the hell are there not more Semillion-Sauvignon Blanc blends produced by American wineries?
It’s not as though this blend of whites isn’t both common and well-accepted (see Bordeaux — or, for that matter, see Australia. Or, just talk to the Meritage Alliance). Additionally, this blend of whites has another thing going for it: it isn’t Chardonnay, The most hated (and loved) white wine among American wine enthusiasts.
One reason we don’t see many of these SB-Semillion blends produced by American wineries is, as Olken points out, there just isn’t that much Semillion planted. But I think a more reasonable explanation, which also explains why there isn’t much Semillion planted, is that it is much more difficult to market a white blend than nearly any other type of wine.
One of my clients at Wark Communications does currently and has for quite some time just such a blend. They planted Semillon on their Napa estate precisely to make this blend. The owner is a confirmed enthusiast when it comes to the great wines of France and Europe and was inspired by the great White Bordeaux. He does not make much. But he makes just enough that those on his allocation list and those who have become devoted followers of this wine always get theirs.
I would love to see Charlie Olken review a significant panel of white wine blends from this classic combination of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. If you are a winery that makes just such a blend or know of one, get over to Olken’s blog post, let him know you’ll send in a sample and I’ll promise my client’s wine. Maybe if enough samples are committed, we’ll see the first significant set of reviews of this style of wine produced by American producers in a long time.