Grilled scallops are a good match for Equilibrium.
Grilled scallops are a good match for Equilibrium.

T his is an interesting blend unlike anything I’ve come across before. It’s interesting in a good way.

The wine is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc with some Chardonnay and then a healthy dose of Muscat. The Sauvignon Blanc give the wine crispness, the Chardonnay a full, round body, and the Muscat the right amount of sweetness.

It’s a beautiful pale straw color in the glass, it opens with beautiful aromas of peach, citrus and honeysuckle. The flavors burst upon the tongue with great vibrancy. The crisp opening leads to a full body, rich mouthfeel, with tastes of nectarine, pear, citrus and stone fruits. The wine has a pleasant, lingering finish.

The blend is 72% Sauvignon Blanc, 17% Chardonnay and 11% Muscat.

The name Equilibrium means “to come together in a state of harmonious balance,” and that describes the wine very well.

Instead of bottling the grapes separately, the winemakers decided to have some fun and created a great summer wine that will be great with food and refreshing by itself. The combination of crispness and sweetness is really difficult to achieve.

Serve it well chilled and let it warm up a bit in the glass.

Equilibrium 2012.
Equilibrium 2012.

From: Napa Valley
Winery: Franciscan Estate was created in 1973 and became noticed with its 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted in small lots and blended together. It began with 240 acres in the heart of the famous Oakville District of Napa Valley.

Founder Justin Meyer crafted wine in small lots, and was responsible for many innovations. In 1985 the winery introduced Magnificat, a proprietary blend of Bordeaux varietals that came to be known as Meritage. (It rhymes with heritage.)
Two years later, Franciscan introduced the first Napa Valley Chardonnay fermented with wild yeast, the Cuvee Sauvage.

In the original Oakville vineyard, Franciscan grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Merlot and Chardonnay mostly come from the cooler southern Napa and Carneros vineyards.

Meyer has been succeeded by Janet Myers as director of winemaking, and she has continued the traditions, including small lot winemaking. The winery has worked to be more environmentally friendly and to cut down on energy use. They say their efforts have led to a 15% decline in water consumption, an energy reduction of 15%, and cut gas usage by 22%. The winery also is certified as Napa Green, which is the wine industry’s most comprehensive “best practices” in land-use and wine production certification.

In the vineyard the winery has created a water reservoir that also serves as habitat for native flora and fauna. They have reduced the use of pesticides by bringing in plants that attract beneficial insects. They also use owl, raptor, bluebird, and bat houses to control vermin.

Cost: $23
Year: 2012
Goes with: Teri and I tried this wine with grilled scallops, wild rice, corn on the cob and fresh garden vegetables. It was incredible.

I wasn’t sure how the sweetness of the wine would match up to the scallops, especially the citrus sauce we made with it, but the pairing was perfect. We’d get a little tart taste from the scallops, then a little ocean flavor and the crisp sweetness of the wine would bring it all together.

The versatile wine makes a fine aperitif and should pair well with many kinds of seafood, probably grilled pork, chicken and turkey. It also would go well with cheese and nuts.

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