Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lodi Summer White Wines: Heritage Oak Winery Sauvignon Blanc

Lovers of Lodi wine took to their favorite social media platform recently to swirl, sip and spill the beans about the amazing white wines of the Lodi AVA.  The comments put forth by the participants of the virtual wine tasting event can be found under the hashtag #LodiLive, while full details of the event and the Twitter stream is found here.

Lodi may have made its name with red wines - particularly Zinfandel - but Lodi winemakers produce about 24% of California's wine output and is the state's leading producer of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.   @WineJulia tweeted, during the Twitter tasting, “ Lodi is NOT just red wine country. #lodisummerwhites.”

Heritage Oak Winery's owners, Tom and Carmela Hoffman, are working the land that has been in Tom's family for five generations.  In the 1970s, farming Tokay grapes was the thing.  During the next decade, the focus shifted to Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

They think of acidity as the calling card of their wines, which the terroir and winemaking technique supports completely.  The 2013 Heritage Oak Winery Sauvignon Blanc is made with grapes harvested from Hoffman Vineyard's Bruella Road Block (80%) and Mokelumne Flood Plain (20%, the Sauvignon Blanc Musquée clone.). Alcohol hits only 13.7% abv.

On Twitter, during the virtual tasting event, @ChasingJen tweeted that the wine shows “mineral preachiness, lemon, grass (soft), refreshing."  @norcalwine cited  “the New Zealand style but dials back the pungency and green. It's good.  Tart & ripe peach, guava, mango, peppery spice & fresh green bean."  @Luscious_Lushes thought the wine was "very subtle & smooth.  Not very tropical- more apple, asian pear, stone fruit. Very easy to drink."  From @dvinewinetime: "Tart & lemony with bright acidity."  @cellarmistress liked the "lemongrass, grapefruit--huge, juicy flavors, my mouth is watering!"

I find the Heritage Oaks 2013 Sauvignon Blanc to be green, but not grassy, showing plant stems and pepper that dominate the nose.  The palate displays bright acidity first and nearly-ripe peaches and apricots second.  The green notes show mightily in the flavor profile, which is great if you like them.  I do, by the way.  Tart grapefruit also makes a strong play on the taste buds.  People who want a wine dripping with sweet fruit need to look elsewhere, but people who want their wine a bit on the savory side and ripping with acidity - food friendly, in other words - should check with Heritage Oak.