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Bill Carlson Wine Time PNJ July 2015

Bill Carlson Wine Time PNJ July 2015

Souverain is back, and offering excellent value

For a number of years, one of my favorite value wines from California was Chateau Souverain. I hadn’t seen those wines in years, but I was recently reintroduced, as they have been rebranded and are now called Souverain.

The good news is the wines are still terrific and still have the same esteemed winemaker since 1996, Ed Killian. As part of the Beringer Empire, they have always had the advantage of having tremendous sources for grapes from California’s North Coast.

Souverain traces its roots back to 1944, when Lee Stewart tired of his sales job in San Francisco and bought an old winery in Napa. Along the way, he learned to craft superb wines, but was also a mentor to many of the early pioneers in California wine. From the Christian Brothers to the Mondavi Brothers, Lee Stewart shared his techniques and knowledge for all to benefit from.

Today, Souverain has a beautiful, modern winery in Alexander Valley and is fashioning some of the best value wines in California. The new label is sleek and elegant, and has a coat of arms paying tribute to Souverain’s history. I recently tasted their new releases and came away quite impressed.

The 2013 Souverain Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99) is the perfect summertime wine for Pensacola.

It’s lively, thirst-quenching and goes quite well with our coastal seafood cuisine and lighter fare.

The hints of lemons and nectarines on the nose entice you in this thoroughly enjoyable dry, crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Merlot is back! The 2012 Souverain Merlot ($13.99) is drinking great. Good concentration of fruit, with aromas of blueberries, cloves and cocoa. Pairs well with barbecue, burgers and has enough grip to go with a well marbled ribeye. This wine will show much better with a 20-minute chill before serving.

It’s great having Souverain back! Reliable, well-made wines at an affordable price that are a joy to drink. Visit Seville’s Wine and Gift Shoppe to take a few bottles home with you.

Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com.

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