Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Wine: Simi Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2011

Longevity counts in wine.  A winery doesn't operate over 135 years without doing a lot of things right.  Simi Winery first made wine in 1876, and they have been working out of the same Healdsburg cellar since 1890.  Giuseppe Simi came from Tuscany to California's gold rush in 1849, like many other Italian immigrants.  Also like his countrymen who ended up far from home in California, he eventually turned to winemaking.  It was over a quarter century after the goldrush that his brother joined him and the winery was born.

Simi uses primarily Alexander Valley fruit for their Sauvignon Blanc.  It's a blend of 95% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Semillon and 2% Viognier.  Those other two grapes help add some aromatics and fruitiness, but the real difference maker here is the region where the grapes are grown.  The Alexander Valley is a fairly warm-climate grape growing area.  This means the fruit is riper.  The aromas and flavors are more fruit-oriented than in, say, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

The Simi Sauvignon Blanc has a very fresh nose and palate - it's a refreshing drink.  The aromas are not too grassy at all - citrus and tropical notes dominate.  It's lush and very fruity, with a decent level of acidity.  The flavor worked well with sashimi and tempura at the Japanese restaurant where I enjoyed it.

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