This wine always acts the part of my “special treat.” It’s the middle of the week, I’ve had a hard one, and I have a meal that just calls for a Sauvignon Blanc. I can’t help it, I splurge and I bring home a bottle by Duckhorn…

Technically, this could qualify as a Daily Drinker or a Special Sipper, but as Duckhorn runs just slightly over my price mark ($30 for this particular varietal), and I do tend to save it for those times when I need a pick-me-up, I’ve dubbed Duckhorn “special.”

And it is special. There’s something about the Sauvignon Blanc in particular that does…pick-me-up. The lightness, the fruit-forwardness, the floral elements, and a refreshing hint of minerality that brings it all together. It’s like, when I’m feeling out of balance, the balance of this wine kind of puts me back together again. And…I’m happy.

About the Wine: I’m going to start this “about” section with a little personal note. Personally, Sauvignon Blanc wines are hard for me. They can be over-powering in the fruit department. Not the case here. Duckhorn has a secret ingredient: Sémillon. Here in the States, Sémillon is often used in blends or, as with this Sauvignon Blanc by Duckhorn, to balance (or round-out) a specific varietals characteristics. I actually discovered Sémillon when I traveled to Australia, where I was able to purchase the varietal by the glass or bottle. To my palate, it’s comparable to a Chardonnay in that it has a round, almost creamy (but not Cali-oaky) mouthfeel. So, my point is that it’s the addition of the Sémillon grape that gives Duckhorn’s Sauvignon Blanc it’s balance, subduing the tropical fruit flavors, calling out the softer stone fruit flavors, simultaneously intriguing and calming the palate.

This wine was made with 79% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and 21% Semillon grapes, and were aged in a combination ofChâteau-style French oak and new French oak barrels. 13.5% ABV.

Flavor Profile: The first flavors that jumped out at me where the quintessential, citrus-y tropical fruits including grapefruit, pineapple, and even a hint of lemon or lime. As the wine sits on the tongue, the complexity of the Sémillon reveals itself with softer fruits such as melon, mango and papaya. As the tasting comes to a close, that softeness is followed by just a kick of spice from the acidity — not over powering, but just enough to make you want one sip more.

Food Pairing: I could easily sip on this wine, on its own, all afternoon without a care in the world. What I like to pair it with is something that has a bit of a creamy element to it, which pairs nicely with the Sémillon, but let’s the fruits play a starring role on the palate. Most recently, I had this wine with a spinach and ricotta tortellini pasta, topped with a light Alfredo sauce, garnished with fresh sprouts and a squeeze of lemon juice. Again, the cream-based sauce worked with the Sémillon to calm the other flavors down, while the fresh greens and lemon juice partnered with the exciting tropical fruit flavors in the wine.

More Info: Learn more about Duckhorn and purchase wines directly from their site. I like to purchase their half bottle*, available at my local Whole Foods Market (Price: $15.99).

*Other Half Bottle Recommendations:

J. Lohr Chardonnay

St. Michael Eppen Pinot Grigio

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