There are two popular winemaking regimes that produce Sauvignon Blanc wines with the emphasis on grape rather than barrel flavors; one is what we refer to as the New Zealand style and the Loire style is the other. New Zealand growers tend to harvest their fruit less ripe than winemakers in the Loire, producing wines that are more overtly herbaceous. New Zealand winemakers also like to maximize these aromas by protecting the juice from oxidation; they immediately add sulfur dioxide and ascorbic acid and blanket the juice with inert gas until fermentation is initiated in refrigerated stainless tanks. Generally there is no aging of wines on the yeast and the wines are bottled soon after fermentation. Loire growers seem less interested in the herbaceous notes. They harvest their grapes riper, when some stone-fruit flavors peek through. The grapes are generally processed without keeping oxygen away from the juice and many quality producers still ferment and age the wine sur lie in oak foudres. This release is a combination of the two styles, with the Loire style predominant, as we fermented in both stainless and oak ovals.
The vineyard floor, under our Sauvignon Blanc vines in Boonville, is covered with Pennyroyal, a wild mint. It's hard for us to taste this wine and not imagine a minty note.
Bill and Nancy Charles own and operate Foresight Wines in Boonville. We've been friends and neighbors with the Charles family for forty years and were delighted with their decision to grow Sauvignon Blanc. That turned out to be such a good decision that we planted our own Savvy vineyard right across Highway 128 from the Charles Ranch in Boonville.
When our new Boonville Sauvignon plantings come into full production, we will have seasoned ovals ready for old world fermentation and aging. The ripe flavors suggest grapefruit, Meyer lemon, fennel and tropical fruits followed by a delightfully zingy finish.
The ovals behind Jim were purchased in 2012 for fermenting and aging Sauvignon Blanc. Since we don't want oak flavors to camouflage the Sauvignon fruit, we will ferment and age Chardonnay in these casks until the oak flavors are diminished.