For some reason it didn't occur to us until about ten years ago that Sauvignon Blanc could thrive in Anderson Valley. The grape has a reputation for being too herbaceous in cool climates, so we assumed Anderson Valley would be too chilly for top-flight Savvy. After studying one of our favorite tomes “Catalog of Selected Wine Grape Varieties and Clones Cultivated in France,” it dawned on us that Sauvignon Blanc is an Epoch 1 (early) ripener, perfect for our maritime climate. In 2003, we were pleased when our friends, Bill and Nancy Charles, converted a field of Chardonnay vines in their Boonville vineyard by grafting over to Sauvignon Blanc, ENTAV clone 297, because of the clones reputation for producing quality wines in the Loire.
Making notes at Navarro's weekday morning staff tasting. Wine from each of the various vineyard and clonal blocks of Sauvignon Blanc has a slightly different taste. Fermenting and ageing each lot separately, then selecting a blend from the best lots, provides us the opportunity of crafting a more complex wine.
Bill and Nancy Charles in their
Foursight Sauvignon Blanc vineyard; we've been purchasing grapes produced by these vines since their first harvest.
For almost thirty years our family has owned a ranch across the street from the Charles Vineyard, so in 2009 we planted seven and a half acres of Sauvignon Blanc, divided into three blocks, featuring highly regarded ENTAV clones from the Loire: 297, 376 and 530. The field was divided into seven different blocks based on the soil profile. Blocks four and six are mostly gravel and rock so we chose a vigorous rootstock called 110R. Block five has fewer stones and richer soil, so we used a less vigorous rootstock, SO4, with good nematode resistance. We're excited that the 2012 vintage is the first to include estate-grown grapes. Tart and sassy, this wine tempers the richness of smoked trout or pork rillettes. Gold Medal winner.