I was surprised to discover that we haven’t done a formal review of Illumination in five long years. That’s a shame, because this wine, made by Napa’s Quintessa, remains a standout when it comes to sauvignon blanc (albeit one blended with sauvignon blanc musque and semillon, which is said to allow the wine to withstand longer aging).
The 2021 Illumination is rich — equally floral and fruity but almost creamy in texture. Notes of flambeed peaches, tangerine, and lemon peel lead the way. Elements of lime leaf emerge on the finish, where some vanilla elements become more evident. Appealing from start to finish, the wine balances sweet and tart elements almost perfectly, with just a dusting of spice evident on the conclusion. Illumination does not seem to change dramatically from one vintage to the next — and given its quality, that’s fine by me.