By Terry Sweeney
The best way to describe the Sean Minor 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is “music for the mouth.” Something magical happens when the bottle is opened and the first notes of fresh ruby grapefruit come wafting their way up carried on a citrusy tropical breeze. OK, you’re thinking, how much of this stuff has he had tonight? And was it wise to open his laptop and write his column? Maybe he should have slept it off and seen how he felt in the morning.
Never mind how I felt in the morning. I still think this Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect kick-back-put-your-feet-up-forget-your-troubles-c’mon-get-happy wine you can ever hope to find. And I wasn’t even looking. It’s not my fault it was 75 degrees in February and suddenly I was sweating in a T-shirt and shorts with a warm Old World cabernet in my hand making me feel even warmer. But good news! Apparently, thanks to global warming, you can now break out your summer whites long before Memorial Day without public scorn or social embarrassment. The time just seemed right for my summer beverage of choice — sauvignon blanc.
I was yearning for a nice, cold, crisp, mouthwatering grapefruit solo to play on my palate. Who knew it would bring fresh melon and fig and limes and the rest of its flavor packed orchestra? Sean Minor, that’s who. He’s a genius. He’s the “Mozart of the Vine” and somehow he has taught his grapes to sing. For his sauvignon blanc, he has perfected a brilliant process: putting a portion of his juice in small neutral French oak barrels and the majority of it in stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Then he expertly combines the two using his gifted palate to produce this symphony of tropical fruit flavors. OK, I’m sure his super talented consulting winemaker Will Bucklin helps (after all, the guy started his career at the historic Chateau Lafitte Rothschild). But somehow I feel it is Sean Minor who ultimately wields the baton and keeps his “vinstruments” tuned and performing at their best.
And by the way, it’s not just me talking or the fact that this wine sells for UNDER $12 DOLLARS! This Sauvignon Blanc 2010 of which I speak won a Double Gold … Best of Class … at the California State Fair Wine Competition in 2011. This naturally made me want to feel the music in his other wines. And so I tried a chardonnay, his cabernet sauvignon, and a red blend, all of which were absolutely deliciously on key. He’s won award after award for his compositions since he founded his Sean Minor Four Bears Winery in Sonoma in 2005, and rightfully so.
I’m too old to intern or I’d get a backpack, thumb my way to Sonoma and pitch a pup tent in his vineyard just to learn at the feet of this Wine Master. So instead I guess I’ll just have to settle for drinking gallons of it right her on my porch and let Sonoma come to me. Cheers!
There is a Sean Minor Four Bears Wine Tasting on Wednesday, February 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. right here in Beaufort at the Red Dot Store next to Outback on Boundary Street. I’ll race you to the door!