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March Pages 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 225 THE WINE COLUMN By Michael Welsh* Sauvignon blanc bangs you in the mouth—like an old peasant with his wooden shoe ... The sauvignon is the whipper-snapper. It’s not solid enough. It’s violent, it’s sharp, it bites, it cries, it’s like a ferocious dog you keep on a leash. —Troisgros (famous French restaurateur) The … wine, my God, it is foul, catpiss is champagne compared, this is the sulphurous urination of some aged horse. ASPARAGUS AND CAT’S PEE With spring in the air, our thoughts turn to things fresh and green. For me, that includes Sauvignon Blanc to match the new peas, asparagus and salad greens from the garden. Sauvignon Blanc is identified with New Zealand, even though this is quite a recent phenomenon. Planting of Sauvignon Blanc in NZ only started in the late 1970s, and the wines began to attract world attention in the 1980s and early 1990s. In contrast, it has been a mainstay of white wine production in the Loire Valley and in Bordeaux for centuries. Think of Pouilly- Fumé and Sancerre or white Bordeaux and you are thinking of Sauv Blanc. Its origins are not fully known, although it is believed to have been a mutation of a variety named Savagnin (today a minor player grown mostly in the Jura area for sherry-like wines). Some ampelographers feel it derived its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc due to its early ori- * Michael Welsh has a litigation and ADR practice in the South Okanagan. Among his passions is good wine, the consumption of which he legitimizes by BCVQA wine judging for the British Columbia Wine Authority and as the regular wine columnist for the Advocate. He is the current president of the CBABC. —D.H. Lawrence


March Pages 2017
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