- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Porcupine Ridge, Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa, 2008, $13

Though the year still has a month and a half to go, white wines from the 2008 vintage in the Southern Hemisphere are beginning to show up in D.C.-area wine shops. Invariably made without oak aging, these can be bright, bracing, and very fresh.

Porcupine Ridge´s sauvignon blanc, redolent of tangy citrus and green herbs, is a great example. Fashioned to be enjoyed young, it will never taste better than it does now.

Because a small percentage of the world´s wines benefit from cellaring, people often make the mistake of thinking that all wines improve with age. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of wines in today´s market are crafted to be enjoyed upon release. Some improve with time in the bottle, but many others actually taste best when youthful. That is especially true with unoaked sauvignon blanc, a varietal whose great appeal comes in its refreshing vibrancy.

Sauvignon like this tastes vivacious. It works like a wake-up call for the taste buds and is an especially fine choice when paired with shellfish or sushi. This time of year, it´s a perfect partner for freshly shucked oysters. (Imported by Vineyard Brands.)

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