Wine review: Maxwell Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2010

04-09-10-maxwell-creek

So much for wondering about the quality of California wine. Or thinking that wine prices were going to increase this year.

Which says pretty much everything that needs to be said about the Maxwell Creek ($10, purchased, available at World Market), which is apparently a second label from St. Supery, a long-established and classy Napa producer. Wineries do second labels to sell cheaper versions of their better known wines without having to discount the latter. Second labels are usually made by the same winemaker at the same facility, though the grapes may not be of the same quality.

In this, second labels are usually a value, and the Maxwell Creek is a ridiculous value. It’s top-notch Napa wine; think of it as a much simpler version of something like St. Supery or Grgich sauvignon blanc, but with the same attention to detail and reflection of terroir. Look for California grassiness and some minerality on the finish, with a bit of citrus zest. This is a crisp and refreshing wine, yet surprisingly subtle. And, though it’s a little thin in the middle, it’s not thin enough to make a difference at this price — or at $15 or $18, for that matter.

Chill this and drink it on its own, or with almost any grilled seafood or chicken dish. Highly recommended — which is saying something, because the main reason I bought it, honestly, was that I didn’t think it could be any good and so could write something curmudgeonly about it.


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