I love that you can see the reflection of a tree in this shot and that the bottle just absorbs all the greenery around it. Because that is the essence of Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc — fresh, crisp, and perfectly refreshing for a spring or summer evening. So, get comfy on your favorite piece of patio furniture and raise a glass with me.

About the Wine: I’m going to start with something personal here. Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is one of the first Sauvignon Blancs I actually enjoyed. I’d had a slew of SBs that were just overly fruit-forward with little or no relief from acidity. I don’t have a sweet tooth when it comes to wine, and this consistently bad luck with the varietal led me to believe that I just don’t like Sauvignon Blanc. Turns out, thanks to KJ and a few others, not true.

This particular KJ Sauvignon Blanc offering is entitled “California” because it’s made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes from various regions in California: California: 85% Lake County 5% Mendocino County 9% Sonoma County 1% Monterey County.

ABV: 14%

Flavor Profile: So light, so subtle, so delicate, considering you can purchase this bottle at almost any convenience store.

In the glass, the wine emits a light straw-colored yellow with just the tiniest tinge of green. The aromas are filled with bright citrus fruits — grapefruit, melon, lemon and lime zest. On the palate the first thing to hit your tongue is this beautiful acidity that showcases the citrus and zest in a refreshing way. That acidity paves the way for a distinct beach-y minerality — you can almost feel the sand between your toes and feel the spray of the ocean breeze. That minerality seamlessly transitions into the tiniest hint of effervescence — a tingling on the tongue that leaves a long, lingering, somewhat spice-filled finish. The fruit flavors, refreshingly, are almost an afterthought in Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. That’s not to say they aren’t present. In fact, that lemon-lime zest, that grapefruit, and the tiniest bit of pineapple lay the foundation for all these other tastes and textures. But they stay there, in the background, as the backbone, holding the structure of the wine, but never dominating at any point. And I appreciate that. I appreciate that I have to search for these flavors; it adds a kind of complexity to this very casual wine.

Food Pairing: This wine is certainly enjoyable on its own and versatile enough to pair with almost any dish. If looking to play up those fruit flavors, I highly recommend pairing this meal with an island-inspired meal. Think fresh shellfish that’s still salty from the sea — it’ll bring out that beach-y minerality. Think a fresh pineapple salsa or a citrus-fruit salad to bring those oh-so-subtle fruit flavors forward.

If you like leaving those fruit flavors in the background, I recently enjoyed this meal with grilled sea bass atop teriyaki stir-fried vegetables and shirataki noodles. The bit of spice in the teriyaki seasoning played nicely with the effervescence and spices in the wine, totally intriguing the tastebuds. Conversely, these elements actually did help elevate the fruit flavors (just a bit) because as certain flavors and feelings pair and parallel, those that are different (in this case any bit of sweetness in the wine) tend to stand out.

More Info: I’m struggling to think of any other Kendall-Jackson wine that I’ve had that I’ve enjoyed as much as this one. They have such a large library, most of which are available to average consumers. And now that I’m writing about this, I’m enthused to try more. For more information about Kendall-Jackson and their available wines, please do visit the Kendall-Jackson website.

I purchased the Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s reserve at Safeway (Sale Price: $7.99).

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