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Wine of the Wine @ deVine Wines & Spirits
June 8th, 2011

"I wanted a guy who just finished a long day laying asphalt and a guy who's been to Bordeaux to both come in and feel comfortable," says Cory Blackwell of deVine Wines & Spirits (2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, Valley Park; 636-825-9647). "This is a rock 'n' roll wine shop."

Indeed, when Gut Check visited deVine Wines (get it?) to try an unpretentious Stickybeak white blend, the Valley Park shop vibrated with the strains of Jimi Hendrix.

So what is Gut Check tasting today? The 2009 Stickybeak Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, a recent but popular addition to deVine Wines' nearly 700 selections. The wine is one of the first vintages from a company that began 15 years ago as an importer of Australian wines. Based in Napa, the importers delved into wine making themselves, taking inspiration from the best of their vintner neighbors. Thus, the name "stickybeak" is Australian slang for busybody, someone who sticks his nose over the fence to spy on what's going on next door.

According to the Stickybeak website, this Sonoma County blend is made from 72 percent semillon grape from a twenty-year-old vineyard in Knights Valley, finding "loamy clay with broken limestone soil." The other 28 percent is sauvignon blanc, a "steely" fruit from the "foggy" Russian River Valley for "keeping it cool."

What do the experts say? Blackwell says the golden-tinted wine is nicely balanced between fruit and acidity and that it would pair well with seafood. He also noted that while walking his dog a few days ago, he caught wind of honeysuckle, and that heady aroma reminded him of this wine.

Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar rated the 2009 vintage 88 points, noting its "high-pitched aromas of pear, green apple, lemon zest and honeysuckle." The review goes on: "Surprisingly supple on the palate, with juicy flavors of pineapple and orchard fruits. The nicely persistent finish shows spice and bee pollen notes and good closing cut."

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