Review: 2015 Illumination Sauvignon Blanc

You’ll have to check the back label for the details, but Illumination is a white wine made at Quintessa, which is best known as a cult producer of red wine. Here, however, is a white from the property, blended from 39% Sauvignon Blanc Musqué (a particularly aromatic clone of Sauvignon Blanc), 48% Sauvignon Blanc, and 13% Semillon. The fruit is sourced 58% from Napa County and 42% from Sonoma County. Aging is done in French oak barrels (8% new), Acacia barrels (5% new), egg-shaped concrete fermenters, and stainless steel barrels.

It’s altogether a fine expression of Sauvignon Blanc, loaded with intensely floral aromatics and notes of apricots underneath. Some light ammonia notes emerge as the wine opens up (and warms up), revealing a body that offers notes of dried fruit, dried flowers, and some nutmeg notes. The finish hints at green tea while concluding on honeysuckle. A very expressive and worthwhile wine.

A- / $55 / illuminationwine.com

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