Hi all of you wine.wooters. This is Kent.
So, today we are offering the 3rd (and final) offering of Esoterica whitish wines, my 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. I am writing now as I will only have a couple of minutes in the morning to respond to questions before I get on a plane for a trip with my son to the "rust belt"….a fine way to spend a vacation….Detroit, Flint, Cleveland, Toledo and Pittsburgh. It will finally give me a chance to see who all those people I am constantly voting against really are…..but that isn't point of this note.
This SB was an experiment for me. Celia and I spent three weeks in New Zealand last year and did a lot of wine tasting. I loved the Pinots on the South Island, but even more, I thought that what they were doing with Sauvignon Blanc in the North was fabulous. Some of you may remember, back in the late 80's and early 90s I made a huge name for myself with Sauvignon Blanc…..a rich barrel fermented full-of-cat-pea SB that was completely over the top. Huge ratings, lots of puffs, and so on. By the mid-90s we were still getting the scores, but nobody was buying the wine…..and, with some sadness, I quit making it. That said, my tastes changed too and while that style still held a tiny bit of water for me with Chardonnay, I found that the SBs I really enjoyed were far more austere, flinty and mineraly….not butterbombs. In New Zealand last year I thought…." I wonder if I could make this kind of wine with California SB?" With this wine, I gave it a try.
So, what I did….I approached a SB grower that I know and asked him if I could differentially pick his vineyard for the LEAST RIPE grapes…..he thought I was crazy, but was more than happy to comply. The clone that he grows is the Sauvignon Musque clone that has the tiniest bit of Muscat character (a compound called Linolool (great Scrabble word by the by). We night harvest these grapes and brought them into the winery absolute ice cold. Immediately we whole-cluster pressed them and the juice went to tank very cold. Fermentation was at 51 degrees (just high enough to keep the yeast alive). The fermentation took about 6 weeks. As soon as fermentation was over I racked the wine and a few weeks later bottled it. The result was fantastic….it was exactly what I had wanted…..huge bright fruit, tight clean acidity, wonderful clarity of SB character…..a total success.
All the above said…..if you want the perfect clean, crisp, refreshing, fruity, steely and absolutely beautiful SB….buy this wine. If you want Chardonnay…..don't buy this wine.
As I always say….I hope that you enjoy it, but this time….I think you probably will….and I still don't understand why the bottles are up-side-down!!!!!!
All the best, Kent