And you think that New Zealand has cornered the market on Sauvignon Blanc’s claw factor? Think again, friends. I just tasted a 2015 Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, and it rivals anything I’ve tasted and really enjoyed from New Zealand, for instance.
Also, I love the new bottles. Fun and so Millennial.
Diablo… a bit of the mischief devil in every glass, a lot of the enjoyment some of us crave in our Sauvignon Blancs, naugty or not…
What I enjoyed: Cool, refreshing, and flavorful in my claw factor – with a score of “3” (perfect form), this one is Highly Recommended Sauvignon Blanc for those of us who like a perfect balance between fruit and its natural Sauvignon Blanc characteristics. The dry, juicy grapefruit is ever present, with lots of lingering flavors so classically Sauvignon Blanc. It’s the SB characteristic that gave a dryness to the crossing between Sauvignon Blanc and the crossing of Cabernet Franc.
A great Sauvignon Blanc is dry, yet aromatic and flavorful. This 2015 Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc from Chile delivers all that and more.
If you’re like me, with an insatiable curiosity for the lowest common denominator, you want to know “what is that chemical that causes this association with a litter box?”
My claw factor
Let me describe…
One Claw = Commodity SB
“Did I order water, Ms. Sommelier?”
Two Claws = Commodity headed toward being a well balanced kitty, but not quite there.
“This has hints of being a SB. I can live with it, but it’s not all that la-te-da…”
Three Claws = Perfect SB
“Ah, I’m back working at Robert Mondavi Winery, and having a SB from the Tokalon ‘old vines’ block. Yes!”
Four Claws = Just off perfect, and headed toward the litter box
“This is like a day old litter box. I can take it, but I wish I didn’t have to. Make a note to self, ’empty that thing as soon as possible.'”
Five Claws = It’s over the top with capsicum like 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine
“Call in the paramedics, I can’t breathe.”
More explanations from The Week:
This is an alarmingly common term used to describe Sauvignon Blanc wines. The first question is, “How many of these people have tasted cat urine?!” I hope not many, but I guess they claim to know what it smells like. They’re really referring to a certain funky tanginess, reminiscent of the smell of guava or earwax [earwax?]. Apparently this is due to a chemical compound called p-mentha-8-thiol-3-one. Which sounds even worse than cat pee. But New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is crazy popular.
Let’s add to that a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, too, with this one. Let’s take it a questionable step further. From AromaDictionary.com…
All the compounds and associated wine aromas mentioned above come from the grape, and as such are known as varietal characters. There are too many others to mention here, but one is rather fascinating. Cats urine does exist in wine! Well its smell anyway. Caused by the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde compound p-mentha-8-thiol-3-one, this sulfur containing compound smells exactly like cat’s urine when in a particular concentration range. When weaker, it exudes the herbal scent of lantana bush, whilst when strong, it has an aroma that can be likened to blackcurrants. And where do you find it? That’s right, in the variety where wine tasters see it the most, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon (and of course in cat’s urine).
Thanks to Creative Palate for the sample.