2005 Sauvignon Blanc
People often ask what I use as a model for my Sauvignon Blanc. My answer: the first wine I created in this style for Matanzas Creek Winery, twenty five vintages ago. The grapes for Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc come from thirty year-old vineyards, and these venerable old vines contribute substantial weight to the wine’s rich texture. Hopkins Starr Road Ranch is the same vineyard I drew from in 1979. The Dutton-Cohen, west of Sebastopol, is my other source of fruit. Both are planted to the Sauvignon Musque clone, an aromatic selection that offers a floral character, notably citrus blossom – more reminiscent of a fine Sancerre than a typical California Sauvignon Blanc.
My rendition of this food lover’s wine is uncommon in the cellar practices as well. I barrel ferment one hundred percent of the wine, using eighteen percent new French oak from Tonellerie Cadus. These barrels lift the fruit aromatics and add a sweet mouthfeel. A disciplined, twice-weekly regime of lies stirring, or bâtonnage, adds even more body and depth to the palate.
Sweet summer hay and honeydew melon blend with fragrant aromas of honeysuckle, orange blossom and freshly dried herbs. This wine has a lush fruit impression at first, leading to complex flavors and a long, refreshing finish. The combination of old vine grapes and winemaking protocols produces Sauvignon Blanc with capacity to develop and age for decades, especially when bottled in magnum.
Culinary choices to pair with this Sauvignon Blanc might be creamy, New England clam chowder, hake in parsley sauce, spicy lobster bisque or Pacific lingcod with Meyer lemon aioli.
92 points / No. 40 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007
“Elegant and graceful, with Asian pear, quince, melon, citrus, tangerine and herb flavors. Lithe and refreshing.” Wine Spectator, Aug. 31, 2007
"(E)xceptional effort … full-bodied on the palate and very well-balanced… Youthfully exuberant at the finish and as solidly varietal as in its first impressions, this wine will age for years to come.” Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines, March 2007
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