2010 Buitenverwachting Constantia 13.5% $14
Grassy with a nice roasted jalapeno note on the nose. A real jalapeno treat. Bright and clear on entry though, with plenty of buffering fruit to give this a rather smooth, elegant texture, rather silky. The fruit is on the green end of the spectrum, limes and that great chili note and this helps to accentuate the acidity here. The finish is modest and much the same as the palate. This is a touch simple, but a thirst quencher.  87pts

2010 Ancient Peaks Paso Robles 13.5% $15

This is full of dried herbs, white peach, cut grass and sandy soil notes on the nose.  Nice and clear on entry with gentle fruit that shows some dirt around the edges, but has a fine clear center of peach and almost passion fruit. The acid is well integrated here and the wine has nice flesh. It’s a touch fleshy and even has a hint of tannin on the backend, turning fairly simple on the modest finish, which shows a nice mineral character. 86pts

2010 Buitenverwachting Beyond South Africa 12.5% $10

This has rather deep roasted chili notes with a touch of cut grass over fresh pineapple and peach fruit. This is a bit simple in the mouth, though the acid is vibrant. The fruit is a touch towards the overripe tropical end of the spectrum with notes of papaya and mango on the palate, leading to a brisk, slightly short finish.  86pts

2009 Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc Elgin South Africa 13.5% $15
Lime and melony fruit on the nose with herbal/grassy top notes. This is easy and round on the palate offering up simple melon and light citrus-tinged fruit in an easy to drink style. The herbal element here is quite restrained helping the fruit to pop but making this a bit of a one trick pony. The finish is crisp and short, though the acid does pop on the finale. 85pts

2010 La Petite Perriere Vin de France 12.5% $12

There’s a faint woodsy quality here on the nose under layers of lemon oil, lime leaf, and some floral and mineral top notes.  Broad on entry, this offers up a fairly mineral-driven palate that has some soft fat around the edge but remains tense and lean at its core. The flavors tend toward the unripe peachy end of the spectrum with a spritz of citrus and some slight chemical mineral accents. The modest finish is fresh with lemon zest and a bit of stone. 85pts

2010 Le Jaja de Jau Cotes de Gascogne 11.5% $10
This is subtle and gentle on the nose with lime fruit and nuanced green chili and sage notes. Very light bodied with modest intensity, this nonetheless is fresh and clean with citrusy fruit and lightly herbal top notes all wrapped up in a refreshing package that finishes with a lovely zesty finale that faintly recalls unripe strawberries. Totally uncomplicated, totally quaffable. 84pts

2009 Ken Forrester Stellenbosch 13.5% $15
This is frankly fruit on the nose but it’s very green fruit, all cactus leaf, sage, dried cilantro, poblano chili and green plum. This seems a touch sweet in the mouth with more of that green fruit character accented with some gooseberry, but mostly rather earthy/savory in nature. The acid is bright and well-balanced by the creamy richness of fruit but this seems to be rather atypical, though the finish does show good length and nice lime pith fruit. With air this gains a cleaner fruit aspect, but it remains somewhat particular and savory. 84pts

2009 Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley 13.5% $16

This smells floral, sandy and taut on the nose with a wisp of smoke and some lemon pith. A bit fat in the mouth with some slick richness, this does offer up attractive pear and berry fruit; but it’s a bit ponderous on the palate before turning hard and lean on the finish. This is a bit on the fruiter side, downplaying the grassier elements of the grape. 83pts