Hey, Hey, Hey,
It’s Time to Say,
Today is Cuvee Day.

That’s right, last Saturday we released the new 2018 Cuvee Blanc and we had to bid adieu to our beloved 2017. The ’17 won “Best of Class” last January at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, but fear not mi hearties, the ’18, though a bit different wine, is equally delightful.

Before we talk about the new 2018, however, I thought we could clear up some confusion about exactly what it means (at the SFCWC, anyway) to be awarded Best of Class.

With almost 7000 entries last year, the Chronicle is the largest wine competition in the country, and with a large category of wines like “White Blends” it has to be broken down into smaller categories based on price point. For example, our GCV ’17 Cuvee was in the “White Blends from $20.99-$29.99” category. There were well over 60 wines in this grouping.

Initially, those 60+ wines were judged on their own merits, and 5 were awarded Double Gold Medals, while 16 received Golds. In the next round of this flight, the 21 Gold medal winners competed against one another for Best of Class, and our ’17 Cuvee won.

Now, on to the new 2018. A somewhat different blend than the ’17, the ’18 is 60.1% Viognier, 20% Pinot Grigio, 9.3% Muscat Canelli, 6.2% Sauvignon Blanc, and 4.4% Trebbiano (the ’17 was 44.1% Viognier, 22.6% Pinot Grigio, 20.7% Muscat Canelli, and 12.6% Sauvignon Blanc). The ABV of the ‘18 is 13.8%.

The color in the bowl is a very pale yellow with a hint of green, and the rim sparkles in its clarity. The aromas show a delicate balance of fruit and floral notes. White peach, mandarin orange, and ripe cantaloupe dance with wild honey, magnolia, and carnation.

The delicate aromas, however, belie an aggressive, full-bodied palate. Brisk acidity carries the fruit to a well-integrated, tantalizing finish. Very crisp and clean, it has a more round mouthfeel at a warmer temp. I suggest drinking between 43* and 48*.

Let’s pair this with a classic Chicken Cordon Bleu stuffed with Pastrami and Gruyere rather than ham and Swiss for an interesting twist. For a side, how about linguine drenched in garlic butter.

Happy Trails…