I was so excited when I opened my delivery from Clos Pegase and saw this single vineyard estate Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve recently gained more appreciation for the poor stereotyped grape, often overlooked as “that tropical, fruity” varietal. But remember the wine will only be as good as what the land can provide, and it is up to the winemaker to showcase the beauty of that fruit. Clos Pegase 2016 Mitsuko’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is a true testament to what good grapes in the right hands can do.
About the Wine: The Clos Pegase 2016 Mitsuki’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc Musqué. I wrote my tasting notes before I looked up this detail. The bottle simply states, Sauvignon Blanc not Sauvignon Blanc Musqué. This absolutely explains what I was feeling as I tasted (which you’ll see below). Sauvignon Blanc Musqué is a Sauvignon Blanc clone, mutated from the original grape, which tends to offer more musky aromas and a creamy mouthfeel in the wines produced.
The Sauvignon Blanc Musqué for this wine was all harvested from the Clos Pegase Estate vineyard, Mitsuki’s Vineyard — named after founder Jan Shrem’s late wife. The vineyard is located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. The vineyard has a somewhat unique soil type. The Haire clay-loam found in certain portions of the vineyard are similar to those found along the Right Bank of Bordeaux and, thus, is perfect for growing Bordeaux varietals (like Sauvignon Blanc).
The grapes were destemmed and immediately pressed once at the winery. The juice was left to clarify overnight, then racked off the lees before moving to stainless steel tanks for fermentation for three weeks. The wine aged sur lie in tank for four months before filtration and bottling.
2000 cases produced.
Flavor Profile: In the glass the Clos Pegase 2016 Mitsuki’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc will teach you what straw colored wine really means. There’s no other way to describe it than the light, almost dusty, yellow of straw. There are strong aromatics on the pour — grapefruit, pomelo, green grass, and white cherry blossoms waft up into the nose without even swirling. But do swirl, and sniff again. Along the bottom of the glass you’ll find the faintest hint of wet cement and the lightest line of acidity.
The texture on the palate is a melt-in-the-mouth fruit sherbet. Flavors of mandarin zest, lemon pith, along with herbaceous elements like ground coriander and tree twigs all meld together into a smooth texture on the tongue. The acid, like on the nose, just lingers in the background — not forceful in any way, yet an important part of the Sauvignon Blanc’s story. The after taste is clean, yet green and earthy — like wet leaves and twigs after a light summer rain.
Food Pairing: I paired the Clos Pegase 2016 Mitsuki’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc with pan-seared halibut, coconut rice, and a spicy coconut thai curry sauce. The softness of the wine’s texture — that cream-like quality — perfectly complimented the milky sauce and the pillowy rice. In fact those elements in the dish brought that smooth quality in the wine out a bit further. Meanwhile the freshness of the fruit and floral flavors in the Sauvignon Blanc were able to cut through the heat in the curry (and generous amount of chili I like to add). The halibut — was just darn delicious. This wine pairing was perfect, but you could easily (and just as enjoyably) swap out the halibut for grilled swordfish, seared scallops, or even fried tofu (for my vegetarian friends).
More Info: I received the Clos Pegase 2016 Mitsuki’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc as a sample for review. (Cheers!) Retail: $22. This was actually my first experience tasting from Clos Pegase. Obviously I enjoyed it and can’t wait to taste from them again. For more information about Clos Pegase and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Clos Pegase website.
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