Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2012 – 95 points: Celebrate the Class of 2014 – The Tasting Panel
“Most likely to break the mold
“Categories and labels help us organize this crazy world, but every once in a while something comes along that transcends expectations and shakes up everything you thought you knew. That’s exactly what happens when you taste the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from Grieve Family Winery – it may not fit in with the clique you would think after taking a glance at the label. ‘While many liken it to a white Bordeaux with a bigger body, almost everyone has the same reaction: “Wow, I have never tasted anything like this before,”’ explains Vance Rose, Winemaker for Grieve Family Winery.
“Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc Clone 3, which was lost for 60 years and accounts for less than half a percent of vines planted in California, the wine’s unique flavor profile consists of more stone fruit and lemon grass layers, and features fewer hay notes than your typical Sauvignon Blanc. Located in Lovall, a bowl-shaped valley that can only be reached through Sonoma, the vineyard is the coldest region (despite being at only 650 feet elevation) for growing grapes in Napa Valley. Due to the location and row orientation (east to west), they must double-harvest the vineyard – the first pick happens on the southern end and the second hits the northern end – which Rose notes ‘is an expensive way to make Sauvignon Blanc.’ As far as we are concerned, it’s worth every extra penny.
“Perhaps the best Sauvignon produced in California; an amazing basket of lime, honeydew, spice and spring flowers; silky and crisp with mouth-watering juiciness and bright acidity; generous and complex with a seamless, elegant, extremely long finish. 95 points.”