On the left is French (Didier Dagueneau, 2007 Silex Blanc Fume de Pouilly) and on the right is Californian (Quintessa 2010 Illumination). On the left is the best Sauvignon Blanc can be and will ever be because Didier Dagueneau past away in 2008 and this 2007 Grand Cru is his very last vintage. I was told that since his passing, this wine is now worth about SGD250. I noted it really crispy acidity and mineral characteristics complimented with flavors of fresh melon and citrus, subtle nuttiness and spiciness, and fresh cut flowers. There is a sense of stylishness in texture and the finish is persistent.
When I visited Quintessa during my recent trip to Napa, I was brought to the very top of a hill that over looked the eastern slope of it vineyards with a beautiful man-made lake in the middle. M brought out the Illumination and opened for us to taste. I was attracted to it aromas of slightly underripened citrus notes, white flowers and a touch of spiciness. There were flavros of lemon, pomelo-like and delicate sweetness, firm but fine acidity and a touch of bitterness but not offensive in the finish. M proceed to tell us that the inspiration for Illumination was Didier Dagueneau’s Silex. They were inspired to nuture California Sauvignon Blanc and to bring it to a benchmark that will be worthy of world class appreciation. They were even inspired by the choice of bottling as well.
I do like both very much. It is not everyday that I can afford a Silex. But I look forward to savoring Illumination on a more regular basis once I get a few cases.