The Flower Party and
the Varieties of the
Sauvignon Experience

Tasting Notes and Storyline by Bastardo


The Savant and The Shrink

L to R: Flower Party Hosts and Gang of Pour members, The Savant and The Shrink

Our latest Gang tasting almost literally created itself. Plan A had been to drive a few miles down I-75 to attend The Annual Flower Party, hosted by The Shrink and The Savant. The Flower Party is held each year on the first Saturday in May, and guests are encouraged to make and wear flower tiaras from an abundance of natural materials made available. While not a "wine" event, per se, there are usually no less than four or five Gang regulars on premises, always holding down the east side of the back porch bar, sipping from a private stash of the fruit of the vine.

The first twist in the tale came when we received an email from Mr. Flippy a few days before the planned happening, wondering if he could pay a visit to do a little wine shopping. But, of course; would he like to join us for dinner and the festivities as well?

"Yes, zat would be very nice," he replied.

When the Canadian Zinfans heard of this, they wondered if they could join in as well. How could we say no? It was simply too convenient an excuse for fun and frivolity to ignore.

"What will the theme of the tasting be?" C.Z. wondered.

"Well," I replied, "I have three world class Sauvignons that I’d like to compare, and since Madame L’Pour will be preparing chicken, what better opportunity?"

Then I wondered if we might not add two others to our little tasting, in particular, Winespec Board regular (and Gang fan) Bored Doughnut and wife Mrs. Bored Doughnut, who live about half an hour up I-696 from Gang Central. From his many posts, it was obvious to this observer that B.D. has a great sense of humor, which is important when you’re dealing with a crew like ours. It was also apparent that he had a cellar that was quite well stocked, and perhaps we’d be able to collaborate on some interesting tastings and comparisons in the future.

Thus, an invitation was extended and accepted. Bored Doughnut had a few Sauvignons to throw in the mix as well, so we were ready to rock and roll.

1995 Serge Dagueneau "Les Pentes" Pouilly-Fume $18.98
(Imported be Weygandt-Metzler, Unionville, PA)
1996 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough (New Zealand) $14.99
(Imported by Clicquot, Inc., NY, NY 10022)
1997 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough (New Zealand)
(Imported by Clicquot, Inc., NY, NY 10022)
1997 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch (South Africa) $17.99
(Imported by Cape Classics, NY, NY)

The four wines were tasted with open eyes, before, during and after Madame’s fine grill roasted chicken, baked veggies and fresh bread.

Cloudy BayThe ’97 Cloudy Bay is a pale straw, with a somewhat reticent nose of grassy grapefruit. The bright, lively flavors expand dramatically on the palate, with added notes of apple/pear/fig and just the faintest hint of cat spray. Zingy acidity adds to the appeal.

The ’96 is another pale straw with a more pronounced nose that is otherwise practically identical to the ’97. It also has a floral element to it, according to C.Z.. On the palate, this is rounding out nicely, being a bit softer than the late model, with a more honeyed, less steely quality to the same basic flavor spectrum. I was quite surprised that the usual "cat spray" element found in Cloudy Bay S.B.s is so understated in both of these.

B.D. had never experienced this particular component in the Sauvignon flavor/aroma spectrum, but commented, "When you suggested cat spray, I went into immediate denial, as I have quite a few of both vintages. After eating a piece of great baguette with some delicate double cream cheese, my next taste made the "cat spray" much more apparent, and I have to concur that it is there."

Of the two, most preferred the ’96, if only because of the extra year of bottle age.

We moved onto the MulderboschMulderbosch, which the Director and this taster first enjoyed at MO’COOL ’97. Another pale straw, this is remarkably similar to the C.B.s, on both the nose and palate. Flavors and aromas are again reminiscent of grapefruit/apple/pear/fig/hint o’ cat spray. And again, I was surprised that the "cat spray" wasn’t as prominent as in past tastings. While this also has lively acidity, Les Pentesthere is a certain creaminess to the mouthfeel. Very tasty indeed!

When I first tasted the ’95 "Les Pentes" Pouilly-Fume a year ago, I was immediately impressed by its explosive fruit and crisp acidity. While the intervening time period has softened it some, this medium straw is still a very impressive wine. It seems to show some subtle oak on the nose, but this is less substantial on the palate. Zinchick described a certain floral nuance, while B.D. called it "elegant." Flavors and aromas of cream/apple/pear/grapefruit/mineral/herb (C.Z. called this oregano leaf) are most pleasing. The Canadians picked this as their favorite of the four, and while I’d probably agree, there wasn’t a lot to choose between these four world class Sauvignons. Terrific stuff!

We’d no sooner finished the Pouilly-Fume, then it was time to saddle up and be off to the "Flower Party."