Showing posts with label sauvignon musqe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sauvignon musqe. Show all posts

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Pair Of Dry Creek Vineyards Sauvignon Blancs

Fumé Blanc 2014

The term Fumé Blanc was created by Robert Mondavi, as a marketing ploy. It was the name he gave to his Sauvignon Blanc wines when he shifted from a sweet style to dry. He laid no claim to the term, allowing anyone to use it if they wished. It was inspired by the Pouilly-Fumé Sauvignon Blanc wines of France's Loire Valley.

This is the wine that put Dry Creek Vineyards "on the map," they say. DCV founder David Stare was the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Dry Creek Valley, a move that has been borne out as genius through the years. Winemaker Tim Bell continues to craft a flavor profile of citrus and minerals, just as the big grape maker in the sky intended.

This wine saw stainless steel fermentation and not a stave of oak in the process - surprising since it has a richness and fullness usually associated with oak aging. It contains 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and hits 13.5% abv with a trail sticker of about $14. The nose shows grass and citrus, heavy on the citrus. The mineral-driven palate gives a very full mouthfeel and displays a nice acidity.

The DCV Fumé Blanc will pair wonderfully with pasta - especially in a cream sauce - but it is full and rich enough for roasted chicken. It served well with a baked potato loaded.

Sauvignon Blanc 2014

For the DCV Sauvignon Blanc 2014, they use 82% Saivignon Blanc grapes and blend in 4% Sauvignon Gris, a clone originating in Bordeaux, with 14% Sauvignon Musqué for aromatics and a full mouthfeel. The wine is steel fermented, reaches 13.5% abv, and sells for $18. About 7,000 cases were made.

The Dry Creek Vineyard 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is herbal without being grassy, and fresh without being sharp. The nose gives an herbal note lifted by the Musqué's aromatics, with citrus and minerals to spare. The wine feels full in the mouth, with a beautiful lemon-lime tartness and fresh acidity. A slight savory aspect cuts in late and stays through the finish.

The pop of the acidity makes this wine a great pair with seafood - mussels, crab and oysters come to mind. If you're just snacking, it goes great with potato chips and pretzels. By the way, potato chips and pretzels go together quite well on their own.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

California Sauvignon Blanc With Enough Nose For New Zealand

On the CrossBarn website, the label is described as “renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs’ innovative winery dedicated to crafting wines of stunning quality and exceptional value using sustainable vineyard practices and traditional winemaking techniques.” Hobbs' love of farm life, inspired by a childhood spent on his 150-year-old family farm in upstate New York, is the impetus behind the name of this label. The "cross barn" holds dear memories for him, and he keeps it alive in this line of wines.

Hobbs has placed the winemaking duties in the capable hands of Greg Urmini. His work with the 2014 vintage was made easier by an even-ripening growing season. Half of the grapes used in the CrossBarn Sauvignon Blanc 2014 are of the Musqué clone, which offers even more aromatics than usual. 87% of this wine was produced using stainless steel tanks, while 13% was ferment in oak barrels. There was no malolactic fermentation allowed, but the wine did rest on the spent yeast cells - sur lie - for four months.

I expected a California Sauvignon Blanc to taste fruity - the opposite of grassy. This CrossBarm Sauvignon Blanc plays the herbal card like an ace-high straight. New Zealandesque? Maybe, a bit. But there is more than the grassy aroma on the nose. The tropical fruit mows the lawn nicely, with pineapple and guava in abundance. A citrusy mineral note also plays into the bouquet. The mouthfeel is dominated a brisk acidity and that citrus angle, with apples and pears to boot. The herbal feel is certainly a major force, but not to the exclusion of the fruit. It is a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc which should please any New World palate.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dry Creek Valley Wine Makes A Social Media Splash

Three fabulous examples of Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc were tasted, talked about and tweeted up during a virtual wine tasting event. The crowd gathered around a Google Hangout video broadcast on YouTube, while Twitter tasters tweeted about the trio 'til their thumbs tired. Here is the video of the tasting, as it appeared on YouTube.

Michelle McCue of McCue Communications moderated the vidcast and led those responsible for the wines in a power hour of lively conversation about what makes Dry Creek Valley good for Sauvignon Blanc. Winemakers Ed Sbragia, Emmett Reed and Tim Bell provided the answers to questions asked by the social media participants. The Twitter event is hashtagged at #DCVSauvBlanc.

Comments were positive from the beginning, with @PalateXPosure commenting on the Sauvignon Blanc wines that were the topic of the event, “the three clearly elevate what can be achieved w/SB.” @KatieEigel agreed that “These wines were all fantastic!” @wineandgoodfood tweeted that there is more than freshness to the variety, typing “A well-made Sauvignon Blanc can indeed age well!” @martindredmond loves SB “because it is the answer to many food pairing challenges like asparagus. Getting hungry! Anyone else like Sauv Blanc with guacamole?”  He must have been starving, as he also turned his thoughts to “raw oysters, scallops and crab!”

Sbragia Home Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

The Sbragia estate 13-acre Home Ranch Vineyard was planted in 1995, so the Sauv Blanc vines are now really coming into their own. The grapes - all Sauvignon Blanc - were picked nine days into September. They are typically the first of the season to be harvested and made into wine at Sbragia, so the Sauvignon Blanc really sets the tone for everything else they do.

This white is 100% stainless steel fermented, hits 13.7% abv and retails for $22. Only 200 cases were produced.

This wine has a lovely golden tint - it looks inviting. A whiff shows a beautiful grassy note - a little more than I expect in California Sauvignon Blanc, but not full-bore grassiness like the New Zealand style. Apples and pineapples follow quickly. The palate displays gorgeous green apple, a twist of lemon-lime and a quarry of minerality. Ripping acidity screams for shellfish or crustaceans.

@foodwinechickie noted the price: “Such a great value at $22/bottle.” She also liked the “citrus notes with hints of grassiness” in the wine. @amylieberfarb agreed with me that “Oysters would be perfect” for this one. Amy also liked the “tropical fruit on nose & palate.” @JamesTheWineGuy wrote of the wine’s “orange/golden citrus zest, hint of ginger, flowers & seashells.” From @PalateXPosure: “I may have found my top summer #wine MUST HAVE. STUNNING effort. Can't believe only 200 cases made. Can I have them all?” @WineCompass sang the praise of the “lemon-honeysuckle aroma, creamy middle & acids galore,” while @martindredmond enjoyed the “wonderful acid w/ lovely grapefruit, passionfruit and lemongrass character.”

Gustafson Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley

Harvested on September 10th from Gustafson’s ​Old Sheep Barn Block, these grapes are a field blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sauvignon Musque. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak, one-fifth of it new. 350 cases were produced and alcohol clicks in at 14.1% abv. The retail price is $22.

Gustafson cites the 2013 vintage as a good one overall in California, but particularly good for them in Dry Creek Valley. The long, dry and mild season meant less water for the vines, but they say the Sheep Barn Block produced “unprecedented growth despite the lack of water.”

They harvested the Sauvignon Blanc during the first week of September and did whole-cluster pressing of the grapes to include the stems and all.Steel fermentation was followed by French oak aging, then finished again in steel.

The yellow-gold tint is cheery and bright, while the nose is a bit funky, with white peaches and a waxy sensation. That wax carries onto the palate and meets a savory note on arrival. The acidity is superb and the finish lingers long with stone fruit the last to leave.

@JamesTheWineGuy liked the Gustafson’s “Comice Pear, Adriatic fig, hint of cinnamon and cashew.” @martindredmond was “Digging the stonefruit, tropical, melon grassy character. Great texture too!”  @dallaswinechick checked in with, “Green melon, peach, nice acidity and a touch creamy.” @winecompass said, “Not your typical Sauvignon Blanc, floral and spicy.”

Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 DCV3 estate Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley

From Dry Creek Vineyard’s single-vineyard series, the 2013 DCV3 Estate Sauvignon Blanc uses Sauvignon Musqué grapes that were picked starting in late August. DCV3, they say, is the original Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. Alcohol is ripe at 14.1% abv and 417 cases were made. The bottles sell for $25.

Pale color matches the delicate nose in this wine, with minerals and citrus wonderfully underplayed. On the palate, minerality rides herd over peaches and apples. Very pronounced acidity makes a wonderful food pair, while a medium-full mouth has decent weight. Meyer lemon graces the finish with a zing.

@JamesTheWineGuy tasted “Meyer lemon pulp, moist stones, white flowers, sunflower seeds,” while @foodwinechickie loved the wine’s “great acidity, refreshing finish,” and “Freshly-cut grass and bright citrus flavors. Medium bodied and not very California-like.” @PalateXPosure got “gorgeous citrus,lemon blossom,exotic fruit,” while @martindredmond called the wine “aromatic with a stone fruit, citrus & pineapple character. Nice minerality. Gorgeous texture.” @amylieberfarb commented, “Citrus, creamy w/ spice on long finish.” @DallasWineChick tweeted, “bursting with melon, tropical fruit and citrus with a minerality. A great food pairing wine.”

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