- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Flora Springs, Soliloquy, Napa Valley, 2005, $22

Sauvignon blanc has had a difficult time in Northern California, yielding far too many wines that taste either excessively herbaceous or overly fat. Few renditions get the balance right.

Flora Springs, however, has a strong track record with this grape. Its Soliloquy avoids the extremes that mar so many others, as it both maintains varietal character and expresses a singular style. It’s one of the very few American sauvignons that can hold its own with top wines made from this grape elsewhere in the world.

Sauvignon blanc tends to do best in fairly cool growing areas such as the Loire Valley in France and Marlborough in New Zealand. The Napa Valley, however, is warm if not hot. As a result, this wine is weightier than many sauvignons, with an almost creamy texture. Yet it is not in any sense blowsy or unbalanced.

Careful vineyard management has yielded a wine that tastes both rich and refined, a delectable combination.

With citrus as well as melon fruit flavors enhanced by a hint of vanilla from oak aging, this wine displays vivacity, enabling it to pair well with summer salads and other light fare.

At the same time, its supple texture gives it sufficient body to hold its own with even rich seafood or poultry dishes. Very versatile at the summer supper table, it should provide delicious drinking all through the season.

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