- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flora Springs, Sauvignon Blanc “Soliloquy,” Napa Valley, 2004, $25

Oakville in the Napa Valley is red wine country, famous far and wide for its powerful, long-lived cabernet sauvi-

gnons. So why are the folks at Flora Springs growing sauvignon blanc, a far more delicate white grape, in their Oakville vineyard?

One sip of their 2004 “Soliloquy” provides the answer. This wine is absolutely delicious, one of the very best American renditions of the varietal.

Sauvignon blanc has a checkered record in Napa. Some vintners try to treat it like chardonnay and end up obliterating its finesse with heavy oak flavors. Others try to pretend that they are working somewhere else, a cooler region in France or New Zealand perhaps, and make bitter wine from unripe grapes.

“Soliloquy,” however, strikes just the right balance. It tastes of the grape, meaning fresh and full of citrus fruit, but also has a soft, sun-drenched character that makes it ideal for warm-weather drinking.

“Soliloquy” is an extremely expressive but at the same time elegant wine and should pair well with fairly rich seafood dishes, as well as all sorts of poultry and many summer salads. It’s eye-opening good, but drink it, don’t save it. This is most definitely a white to enjoy, not to cellar.

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