Illuminate is a new label of wines produced by Kimmel Vineyards in California’s Mendocino County. It first came to my attention when their Chardonnay — which retails for just $10 — won a gold medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Illuminate recently launched a North Coast Sauvignon Blanc, which I decided to taste. It’s a limited production wine that is aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, with no secondary fermentation.
It’s a dry, light-to-medium wine with some tangy citrus and plum flavors, but it finishes more floral and herbaceous than fruity. It has a good amount of acidity and scant minerals. This is a crisp and refreshing wine, but the alcohol level (13.9%) is on the high side for a Sauvignon Blanc, so be aware of that.
The North Coast Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t have a lot of complexity, but It’s a respectable and pleasing effort, especially at the price point. It would pair well with foods containing green herbs such as basil, rosemary, or cilantro.
Note that the images are of the 2014 vintage, but this review is of the 2013.