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90+ point rated wines under $20

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2007 Delta Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc***
deltaSB.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Marlborough, New Zealand $18 Private Event 5/6/08
This pale, lemon-green colored wine has classic Marlborough pungency and varietal definition with gooseberry, green pepper, citrus and fig aromas that follow through on the crisp, yet rich palate. Complex and well-balanced this wine is full of ripe green and citrus fruit with hints of grass and minerals on the long finish. This small production wine may not be easy to find, but is one to look out for.

2007 Fairview Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc**
fairviewSB.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Coastal Region, South Africa $13 Private Event 5/6/08
A pale, straw-colored wine with mostly grassy notes on the nose with some hints of gooseberry, green pepper and fig aromas. The palate is light-bodied and crisp with ripe flavors of green fruit, citrus and melon. Not as complex as some SBs, but a solid effort with good varietal characteristics at a great price.

2007 Geyser Peak Winery River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc**
GP2007RiverRanchesSauvBlanc.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Sonoma, CA $18 Wine.com 11/17/09
A water-white, straw-colored wine with bright aromas of limes and citrus blossom with notes of gooseberry and grass. The palate is light-bodied and well-balanced with flavors of lime, apple and grapefruit dominating with hints of grass and jalapeno on the refreshing finish. Mostly fermented in stainless steel, but 15% was stored in neutral oak which helps round out the mouthfeel. I expected a bit more depth for the price and because it comes from a specific vineyard block, but overall this is a well-made wine that holds true to the varietal without being too acidic or grassy.

2007 Girard Winery Sauvignon Blanc**
girardSB.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Napa Valley, CA $17 Kelley Cellars Wine Bar 8/16/08
A pale, lemon-green colored wine with noticable aromatics of green apples, pink grapefruit and gooseberry, with a subtle waft of grassiness that follow through on the crisp, light-bodied palate. Well-balanced with good acidity and enjoyable tropical and citrus flavors with a nice finish. Nothing out of this world, but a well-crafted version of this varietal.

2007 Husch Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc**
07HuschSB.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Mendocino, CA $13 Cost Plus 7/26/09
A water-white, straw-colored wine with bright aromas of citrus, green fruit, grass and peach. The palate is nicely balanced between fruit and crisp acidity with a rounder mouthfeel than expected. The main flavors are lemon, apple, pear and melon with hints of grass and peach on the refreshing finish. This wine saw some neutral barrel aging, which helps temper the acidity and gives the wine more weight on the palate. The wine really opened up as it warmed, adding complexity to the flavors. Husch SB has been a favorite of mine since I tried their 2000 vintage on my honeymoon over 8 years ago – when I hated SB. A consistent wine from year to year that showcases the best components of the varietal at an affordable price. (13.7% ABV)

2007 Kono Sauvignon Blanc**
konoSb07.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Marlborough, New Zealand $8 Trader Joe's 10/9/08
Crafted by the indigenous Maori community, this pale lemon-green wine has an aromatic nose of citrus and stone fruit with notes of gooseberry, which the region is famous for. The palate is crisp and vibrant with flavors of peach, lemon, ripe apple and more gooseberry with hints of lemon zest and peach on the lingering finish. Well-crafted and not as bracing and green as most wines from this region, which will please some people (like me) and not others. I didn't expect such a pleasant, fruity and elegant wine at this price. Wish I had bought more. If it's at your TJs, buy it.

2007 Nimbus Sauvignon Blanc*
nimbus.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Casablanca, Chile $12 @ The Wine House 4/21/08
A water white, lemon-green colored wine with pronounced aromas of citrus, flowers, green fruit, grass and gooseberry. The palate was light-bodied with intense acidity and flavors mirroring the palate with a touch of alcohol on the short finish. Not a bad wine for the price, but certainly nothing that will be remembered. It's a bit all over the place, but still enjoyable.

2007 Oyster Bay Winery Sauvignon Blanc*
oysterbay.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Marlborough, New Zealand $16 Kelley Cellars Wine Bar 8/16/08
An almost water white, straw yellow colored wine with a typical aromatic NZ nose of minerals, citrus and gooseberry. The palate was light-bodied with high acidity and flavors of lime, grapefruit, grass and green apple. Just a bit too thin and one-note with the grass and gooseberry dominating the palate and the quick finish. There are more balanced and flavorful versions from this region at this price point.

2007 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc**
villamariabin.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Marlborough, New Zealand $15 Private Event 5/6/08
This Sauvignon Blanc has a subtle yet complex nose filled with ripe gooseberry, citrus lime, tropical melon and exotic herbal aromas. It is a fresh and ripely flavored wine with good intensity, finishing with crisp and racy acidity. It's a classy wine for the price, really showcasing what the Marlborough region can do with this varietal.

2006 Buttonwood Farm Winery Sauvignon Blanc**
buttonwoodSB.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Santa Barbara, CA $14 @ the Winery 11/26/07
A pale straw color with a powerful bouquet of kiwi, guava and lemon-lime jumping from the glass. On the palate, the wine is light and lively, with honeydew melon, lemon zest and a hint of spice with a creamy, round, citrusy, lingering finish. One of my favorite versions of this varietal from California. Rounder and less grassy than it's French and Kiwi cousins. A solid effort worth the money.

2006 Cameron Hughes Lot 26 Sauvignon Blanc**
btl_lot_26.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Marlborough, New Zealand $11 Online 11/24/07
Aromas of lovely floral components, fresh cut grass, white peach and wet stone. Sipping this luscious white brings out a phenomenal burst of grapefruit followed by apricot and honeysuckle. Typical of wines of this region, though not as integrated as the more expensive versions. A great way to see what NZ SB is all about, even though the wine lacks much finesse.

2006 Edna Valley Vineyards, Paragon Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc**
EVV-SB.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Edna Valley, CA $15 @ the Winery 12/26/07
This lean and light-bodied wine offers vibrant aromas and flavors of grapefruit, guava and peach with a hint of lime peel. A pleasing, crisp acidity and long finish make you want to go back for more. One of their better low-priced wines in the rounder California style. A wine I considered purchasing.

2006 Geyser Peak Winery Sauvignon Blanc**
geyserpeakSB.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Sonoma, CA $11 Out at Dinner 1/15/09
A water white, lemon-green colored wine with bright aromas of citrus fruit and blossom with hints of gooseberry and melon. The palate is light-bodied but with intense, ripe flavors of lime, grapefruit and tangerine, balanced by bright, crisp acidity and notes of grass on the finish. For the price, this wine was better than I expected with lovely varietal characteristics though it lacks the complexity to make it great. Went really well with our Chinese food. Would definitely buy again.

2006 Lincourt Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc*
lincourt.jpg Region Price Tasted Date
Santa Barbara, CA $16 @ the Winery 10/18/07
Greenish-gold in color, the wine has citric aromas of pink grapefruit and lime with other notes of apricot, vanilla and honey. Medium acidity makes the wine crisp and refreshing, but there's just not enough weight and balance to make it special or particularly interesting.

2006 Mauritson Winery Sauvignon Blanc***
mauritsonsauv_label_w.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Dry Creek Valley, CA $16 Kelley Cellars Wine Bar 8/16/08
The bright pink grapefruit aromas in the nose are accentuated by dried apricot and fresh cut hay. The round texture in the mouth conjures flavors of honeydew melon, green apple and peach orchard. The lush yet vibrant mouth feel gives way to clean balanced acidity in the back of the palate where the wine finishes clean with a hint of mineral. Refreshing and flavorful with real varietal character. Haven't enjoyed a CA SB as much in a long time.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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