California, Cat Piss, Saints & Twitter (or “Joe vs. Napa Sauvignon Blanc”)

Vinted on July 13, 2009 binned in California wine, commentary

By all accounts, the is past Saturday’s Twitter Taste Live! event, featuring selections from Napa Valley stalwart St. Supery, was a big success.  Some estimates on the event put the number of twitter event posts at greater than 700 (I’ve not seen any definitive statistics yet), which would likely make it the biggest TTL event to date in terms of raw participation.  Undoubtedly the wide availability of St. Supery wines helped to send this event over the top, in twitter terms.

No matter how you look at it, 700 tweets is a lot of exposure for St. Supery especially when you consider that the participants needed to have the St. Supery wines in order to get the full TTL experience.

During the event, I was pleasantly surprised by St. Supery’s Sauvignon Blanc-based wines.  This is because I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  Which is to say, I almost love to hate Napa Valley SB because in my experience they’re way too bloated and flabby to compare with the best efforts from New Zealand and France.  I was beginning to wonder if NV SB was a fad that needed to die, sort of like Napa’s questionable experimentation with Sangiovese-based wines.  Wine geeks often refer to SB’s pungent aromas as “Cat pee,” a term I tend to avoid when describing any wine that other humans might actually want to try, but I made reference to the term during Saturday’s TTL event, when I expressed surprise at how enjoyable the St. Supery SB’s were:

I suppose I expected some measure of challenge to that statement.  I just didn’t expect it to come less than 24 hours after I’d made it…

One such challenge came, appropriately, via twitter.  It was from Michael Silacci, Opus One’s talented and hospitable winemaker (you can read more on my conversations last year with Michael here).  Michael came to the defense of his fellow Napa Valley wine producers, issuing a dare of sorts for me to try Toquade’s SB:

I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, or one to shy away from admitting mistakes, especially if it means I get to try some potentially tasty wines in the process.

So let it be known – if the gauntlet is being thrown, then I’m game for blind tastings of Sauvignon Blanc.

I suppose this means that now I”ve got yet another task on my plate, and that I’ll need to get some samples of Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley and elsewhere.  I’ll leave it up to the PR folks reading to consider some wines and contact me for samples.

Just leave the actual cat piss at home, okay?


p.s. – It’s great to see that Rick Bakas, one of our wine blogging own, was brought on by St. Supery to handle their social media duties.  There’s a general feeling of goodwill and positive vibes in the wine blogging community that one of our boys got “made.” Congrats, Rick!

(images:, 1winedude)





  • Evan Dawson

    Joe – Are you planning to pay for Sauv Blanc samples on your own, or just have wine reps send them to you? Just curious. Have to say that Sauv Blanc is just not in my wheelhouse, but I'm always curious to learn more. Best of luck…

    • 1WineDude

      Both, probably. It's highly unlikely I'll get some of the better, more progressive NV SBs any other way than via samples (remember, I live in PA).

  • Ron McFarland

    Good idea to organize a Sauvignon blanc tasting – it is a such a wonderful food wine with its wide range of flavors. It is a great varietal to seek out and explore froom all regions of the world.

    • 1WineDude

      I love SB, which is why I cringe at many of the Napa SBs that are on the market at the moment – in my view, they don't typically offer a good representation of what's possible with SB.

  • Bean Fairbanks

    I am not usually the captain of the Sauvignon Blanc fan club either. Yet, I enjoyed comparing these Napa SBs with the Washington Sauvignon Blancs that I am more familiar with. Its true when I think of SB, I think Washington or New Zealand not Napa.

    • 1WineDude

      I'm glad it's not just me, then! :-)

      Actually, I'm getting far more support from people who are on the side of Napa SBs being too flabby than those that defending Napa SBs.

      Right now, it's tough to beat NZ and the Loire for SB (though certainly there not the only areas producing killer stuff).

  • Dylan

    So far we've been having some great response out of the gate for Captûre's SB release, though we're located in Sonoma rather than Napa. I was unaware of the stigma that many SBs in Napa carried, but I'm glad there are some good ones rising to the top. Also, is that your cat, Joe? I have a Burmese back at home that looks just like him–but he uses a litter box.

    • 1winedude5036

      Not my cat, bro – I've got a hunting dog, so I don't even want to think about what might happen to my house if I had that cat and that dog living together…

  • Vinogirl

    The Groth SB never has any cat piddle, definately a 'hot weather' SB…but the best Napa SB, because it is almost Sancerre-like and thoroughly food friendly, is the Farell-Park SB.
    Please don't dismiss all Napa SB's…it was 100 degrees today, and when I got home from the winery, it was a goat cheese salad and a Groth SB. Perfect!
    Oh…also the generic Napa Honig SB…not their gross oaked Rutherford offering.

    • 1WineDude


  • vinogirl

    That would be Farella-Park…oops!

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