Friday, April 27, 2018

Serious Sauv Blanc From Monterey County

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 there 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. 

The 2016 MuirWood Sauvignon Blanc grapes were grown in their Suter Vineyard estate plot in the Arroyo Seco Canyon.  They are the Musqué clone of the variety, and as such offer more aromatics, typically with a lean to fruit, away from the vegetal aspect for which the grape is known.  Surprises abound, though.

The wine hits 13.9% abv on the alcohol meter and sells for about $15.

The nose this wine offers is unlike any I've experienced with Sauvignon Blanc, even of the Musqué variety.  There are apple notes and flower aromas, but an overriding smokiness - muskiness? - lends a savory effect.  The acidity is zippy but not mind-blowing, and the weight is medium full, like a Chardonnay.  It's an extremely satisfying drink, and one of the more impressive of the variety that I've tasted.  Sauvignon Blanc generally means spring to me, but this would be great next to a Thanksgiving ham.

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