The idea behind last night's Friday Night Wine Down was to illustrate why regional information on a label is so important. We poured two sauvignon blancs - one produced with fruit from the Alexander Valley in California and one produced with fruit from the Loire Valley in France. Then we poured a syrah from the Rhone Valley in France and syrah/grenache blend from Paso Robles in California. The results were pretty much what we expected, but fun to see the lightbulb go on for some people. Here are my notes.

2011 Pascal Jolivet “Attitude” Sauvignon Blanc - $19 per bottle
Sourced from plots near the Loire Castle in Touraine, France. Aromas of green apple, kiwi and citrus. Citrus and subtle pineapple flavors lead to a mineral-driven lengthy finish. Weighty on the palate.
2010 Field Stone Winery Sauvignon Blanc - $18 per bottle
Sourced from the Redwood Ranch Vineyard in Alexander Valley, California. Aromas of melon with subtle lavender notes. Lush, melon fruit flavors. Dry and “grassy” on the finish.
2010 J.L. Chave Crozes-Hermitage - $30 per bottle
Syrah dominated blend from the northern Rhone Valley, France. Light plum and ripe cherry aromas dominated by savory tartare and white pepper spice. Soft fruit is framed by cooling acidity, leading to green pepper and a burst of tart cherry. Dry and tannic on the long finish.
2009 Adelaida Cellars “Claudia” - $19 per bottle
A Rhone-inspired blend of grenache, mourvedre, syrah, cinsault and counoise from Paso Robles, California. Cherry aromas accented by all spice and coriander and tar. Big, ripe fruit flavors melt away, leaving dry, spicy finish the lingers for quite a bit.