As consumers slide away from the rich and oaky versions of Chardonnay that have been so popular, other varietals have grown in popularity, like Sauvignon Blanc. While many of the most popular Sauvignon Blancs are from New Zealand, and many of my favorites are from France, California is also home to world class Sauvignon Blanc! Like many of the best-known grape varietals, Sauvignon Blanc originated in France, more specifically in Bordeaux where it is still used to produce their white wines. Translated as "Savage or Wild White," Sauvignon Blanc then traveled north to the Loire Valley and the village of Sancerre, where the varietal really took off as a favorite in the bistros of Paris. Now we see it planted in all top wine producing countries where it can take on many different styles.
For forty harvests, the Trione family has carefully farmed and managed some of the finest grapes in Sonoma County. With painstaking devotion to the land, three generations – Henry Trione, sons Mark and Vic, and Mark’s daughter Denise – have developed a reputation for producing premium grapes. The wines are characteristic of the appellations in which they are grown; the cool, slow-ripening flavors of the Russian River Valley and the rich, dark-berry essence of the Alexander Valley. What makes the region so perfect, is that the afternoon fog from the Pacific Ocean causes the warm daytime temperatures to plummet, keeping the grapes cool and the acidity fresh. They say that when attending a summer BBQ here, you should always bring a sweater. While Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are well known as grapes that perform extremely well here, Sauvignon Blanc grapes thrive here too. They specifically like the well-drained gravel and clay loam soils.
River Road Ranch, where the fruit for today's wine comes from, encompasses 125 acres in the heart of the Russian River Valley appellation. The fruit is hand-picked from nearly twenty year old vines, with just over 3,000 cases produced for the 2019 Vintage, which is tiny for area standards. The 2019 vintage overall was excellent here and almost all the perfect grapes were harvested when the fires hit in the northern Alexander Valley. This is a versatile Sauvignon Blanc, there is plenty of acidity but it’s in balance with the tropical fruit flavors. Great with raw oysters to grilled swordfish.
This has been a staple in our stores for the last five years. If you have not tasted this Sauvignon Blanc before, now is the perfect opportunity. Celebrate California Wine Month with us all September long!
91 Points - JamesSuckling.com
"Aromas of apple blossom, white peach, lemon curd and ripe pineapple. Hints of dried chili, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with bright acidity and a firm, creamy texture. Flavorful and focused. Drink now." - James Suckling (Feb 2021)
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
"Picked before the Kincade fires hit the Alexander Valley, this white is grassy and herbal, with a hint of matchstick on the nose. It is stony and chalky on the palate, tasting of candied lemon peel and honeydew melon." - Virginie Boone (Sep 2020)
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