2003 Sauvignon Blanc
Outspoken as I am about my passion for Pinot Noir, I too rarely praise my favorite white wine – Sauvignon Blanc. Like Pinot Noir, this versatile varietal is a food lover’s wine, complementing a fascinating spectrum of flavors and cuisines. I’m gratified to have located two exceptional Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in the Russian River Valley where plantings of this grape variety are scarce.
Both small, hillside vineyards are over twenty-five years old and farmed by proud, attentive growers. Cohen Vineyard was the sole origin of grapes for my 2001 and 2002 vintages. This year I also included Hopkins Ranch, the source of grapes for my first Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc in 1979.
I barrel fermented entirely sur lies, using a small proportion of new, elegant French oak from Tonnellerie Cadus. The wine developed a deep richness during its time in barrel as I practiced traditional bâtonnage, stirring the lees twice weekly.
The wine’s aromas are fresh and generous: honeysuckle, lemongrass and honey. In the mouth this Sauvignon Blanc is smooth and round with an appealing backbone of lively acidity. Beautifully balanced with a long, crisp finish, this is a tasteful choice for Thai spring rolls with peanut sauce or perhaps saffron scallops with fresh peas and cream.