Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2012 – Today’s Sommelier Selected Wine – SommSelect
“Sauvignon Blanc is a varietal that can take on many personalities, depending on a number of factors such as soil, climate, and decisions on how late to harvest. For today’s offer, these have all come together just right to create a seriously impressive expression of rich California Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, it is one of the best California Sauvignon Blancs that I have ever tasted in this powerful style and it is very reminiscent of great White Bordeaux.
“For years now, the Grieve Family Winery has been producing one of the most celebrated Sauvignon Blancs, not just in Napa Valley, but in all of America. The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, produced from grapes grown in the Grieve Family Vineyard in the Lovall Valley, is on the opposite end of the spectrum of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre. For those who know these styles, the wines are light, fresh and full of citrus with alcohol levels around 12-13%. The exact opposite can be said of today’s offer; it is rich, full, and round with luscious notes of tropical fruit, precise minerality, amazing texture and explosive aromatics. If you are a fan of richerstyled white wines, then this offer is perfect for you.
“What makes this Sauvignon Blanc so unique is the attention to detail throughout its harvest and production process. In the vineyards, David Grieve and Vance Rose pay careful attention to the ripening of the grapes. To create their signature style of Sauvignon Blanc, they pick twice during the harvest season. For the 2012 vintage, they picked once in mid September, from the southern end of the vineyard, to preserve acidity and assure fresh flavors in the final wine product. The juice was then fermented in stainless steel tanks, and Orion new and once-used French oak barrels. For the second pick, they waited an additional twelve days to harvest from the northern end of the vineyard—this ensured ripe tropical flavors and a creamy texture. The juice from this second harvest was fermented in new French oak, once-used French oak and concrete egg. The blend of these two separate harvests and fermentations is what makes this Sauvignon Blanc so incredibly complex in flavor and texture; it is seriously unlike any other Sauvignon Blanc that I have tasted and I am in love with its richness and complexity. You will love the phenomenal aromatics, the full bodied mouthfeel balanced with bright acidity, the powerful blend of stone and tropical fruit flavors, and the finish that only leaves you wanting more.
“The 2012 Grieve Sauvignon Blanc has a golden straw yellow core moving to slight green reflections on the rim. The aromas are ripe and citrus-driven alongside notes of fresh papaya, guava, yellow peach, cream, wet rocks, fresh lemongrass and lime blossoms. The palate is full bodied and incredibly creamy in texture with flavors of green mangoes, passion fruit, candied lemon, kiwi and finely crushed stones. This wine sets itself apart from the rest of the crowd every year and is one of the best examples of its style. The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is at its peak and should be consumed over the next few years. Ideally drink this wine at about 50 degrees out of a large Bordeaux stem, just a bit under cellar temp for the wine to show at its best. This is a serious white meant for the main course and could be paired with rotisserie chicken or even grilled flank steak—finished with a squeeze of lemon or orange. If I were creating the perfect pairing, I would grill some white fleshed fish and serve it with a mango salsa to match the tropical and citrus components in the wine.”