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Blind Tasting

The wines are from three different regions: Napa Valley, New Zealand, and the Russian River Valley. But they do have something in common; all the wines are priced between $17 and $19. So if your take on Sauvignon Blancs is taste one, you have tasted them all, taste again.

From Napa Valley arrives the Markham Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2007  ($17). The wine is predominately Sauvignon Blanc (with Sauvignon Musque, a clonal selection of Sauvignon Blanc) balanced with a small amount of Semillon for texture. Aromas of honey, citrus, lemon pie and passion fruit lead to flavors of grapefruit, honeydew and peach.  This blend is 13.8 percent alcohol.

Some of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs come from New Zealand's intense and elegant fruit. The Wairau River Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2007 ($19) is grown near New Zealand's Wairau River in Marlborough. Low crops and the power of ripe fruit combined with small batch vintning create this lovely wine. It is light straw in color with aromas and flavors of gooseberry and tropical fruit. This 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc has an alcohol level of 13 percent.

Hanna Winery and Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($19) is made from Hanna Sauvignon fruit from Slusser Road Vineyard in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley. The grapes were hand harvested at night using tractors fitted with lights. Hanna Winery and Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc is golden in color with zingy notes of lime and grapefruit. The alcohol content of this 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc is 13.8 percent.

Chill one-or all-of these Sauvignon Blancs. Fire up the grill. Skewer some shrimp. And enjoy the taste of spring.

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