The 2015 Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc ($24) is the Rombauer family’s first new varietal in 20 years, and it’s a winner. Well-known for its well-priced, classic California chardonnay, Rombauers clearly waited until conditions were perfect before introducing the newest entry in their roster of wines. The grapes were sourced from four locations in the Napa Valley, allowed to ripen, and then picked in the cool of the morning and whole-cluster-pressed before spending time in stainless steel tanks (10 percent of the grapes are finished in neutral oak for added weight and complexity).
This wine is such fun, so zesty and exuberant, it is worthy of a fiesta. Pale, green-glinted yellow in the glass, it has a lively nose that promises a burst of lime and tropical fruit on the palate, and delivers both, gentled with sun-drenched pear. The juiciness of the fruit is complemented by the wine’s lightly creamy body and refreshing light acid finish.
I was perfectly happy drinking this wine alone, but since the winery’s family includes Irma Rombauer, the author of that comprehensive, essential cookbook Joy of Cooking, I spent some time thinking about food pairings. The vineyard suggested black cod with miso glaze, which would be lovely, but this wine could also handle stronger stuff. I’d choose a creamy mid-pungent goat cheese, pour a spoonful of Olivas de Oro’s rosemary or basil EVOO over it, and add lightly crushed fresh herbs to garnish, stunning my guests with an easy, perfectly paired appetizer. As a main course, I might go with a saffron-rich, Spanish seafood paella or sea bass or red snapper with a classic sauce verte.
It’s been several weeks since I first tasted this wine, and my memory of it is as bright and fresh as the wine was when I first opened it. It is also an excellent bargain. At this price, I suspect it will fly off the shelves; I plan to stock up soon.