Friday, January 26, 2018

Bernardus Sauvignon Blanc From Arroyo Seco AVA

The Arroyo Seco AVA is centered around Monterey County's Arroyo Seco River, a seasonal waterway that brings rain and snowmelt from the Santa Lucia Mountains to the Salinas River.  Commercial grape growing started in 1961 and has grown to some 7,000 acres under vine.  The region is about 40 miles away from the deep waters of Monterey Bay and parts of it get direct exposure to the Pacific Ocean through the Salinas Valley, both adding to its cool-climate stature.

Bernardus Griva Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Michael Griva's vineyard - reportedly planted specifically for Carmel Valley's Bernardus - contains Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the aromatic Musqué clone, and a small section of Sémillon grapes.  The sandy, stone-laden soil drains very well and provides a great place for the fruit to soak up enough sun to ripen to great varietal expression.  It's mainly a Sauvignon Blanc, with the Sémillon providing just a 5% splash.

The Bernardus Griva was fermented in steel tanks, then aged several months in large neutral French oak barrels.  Alcohol is restrained, at 13.9% abv and the wine retails for $30.

This is a beautiful California Sauvignon Blanc.  It has a wonderful nose that offers more salinity than grassiness.  Citrus and minerals are also in play.  On the palate, the savory herbal flavors get the citrus treatment, too.  Zippy acidity brings a lively food friendliness, so pair it with shellfish, salads or spinach.

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