The Beach House – 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

BeachHouseMany of us think New Zealand when we think about Sauvignon Blanc, but believe it or not, Sauv Blanc is done well in other places.  South Africa is now one of those places.  This wine is pleasant, and quite a nice value.  This wine is a product of the Western Cape area of South Africa, and offers up some pleasant aromas, like lemongrass, citrus (lemon and bitter orange predominate), the tiniest bit of floral and melon.  This wine treads a little lightly, perhaps a little too lightly, on some of the traditional Sauv Blanc characteristics, like that herby grassiness that is often prevalent in a Marlborough Sauv Blanc.  Flavors are softly citrus with just a little spiciness, and the finish is short but clean.  This wine was a nice accompaniment to fresh crab steamed in Old Bay.

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Graham Beck – 2010 Pinno Pinotage

If you’re searching for an easy drinking, easy on the wallet, sociable red, this might be what you’re looking for.  We were invited to a last minute gathering of friends and grabbed this from the cellar to take over with us, and it was a hit with everyone (well, except the one guy who only drinks beer, but that’s another story).  Not knowing the menu ahead of time, this turned out to be a perfect choice to pair with grilled pork tenderloin, roasted new potatoes and stuffed mushrooms.  The aromas were pleasantly fruity, with plum, berry and just a hint of spice.  The alcohol was modest and in no way overwhelming.  The mouth feel was pleasant and soft, with a medium body.  Tannins were restrained and overall very well balanced.  The finish was pleasant and soft.  At the risk of sounding too industrial, this was a very nice all-purpose wine.