I had such a great experience with the Clos Pegase Sauvignon Blanc, I was quite excited to move on to their Chardonnay. Interestingly, these two very different grapes come from the same vineyard — Mitsuko’s Vineyard in the cool(ish) climate of the Los Carneros appellation. The sprawling 365 acre vineyard boasts a wide array of soil types and elevations that creates a broad range of microclimates suited for different varietals.While the portion planted to Sauvignon Blanc is all about the Bordeaux-like soil, the portion planted to Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir) is all about those chilly breezes wafting off of the San Pablo Bay.
Carneros, known predominantly for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, bridges the Sonoma-Napa County border. It’s the Napa side that I have a hard time with. With some of the region’s coolest climates the Pinot Noir here seems to be harsher, tighter, spicier — whereas I tend to favor my full-bodied, fruit-forward Russian River Pinots. But when it comes to Chardonnay, I like a bit more life, intrigue, rusticity, flavor. That same Carneros cooling effect gives the Chardonnays from the region just that: a marked acidity, minerality, and earthiness that shines right through — from stem to stemware.
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.
The weather is getting warmer, meals getting lighter, and it’s time to start talking abundantly about white wines again. Remember my story from yesterday about how I found a secret little wine shop disguised as a liquor store? Well, I went back. How could I not? Traveling, often solo, that aisle dedicated to the art of the half-bottle is like a treasure trove. And it was here that I found Hall Wines 2015 Sauvignon Blanc — a perfect spring time wine. (It even has a bunny on the label…)
Walking home from work, I decided to pop into a local, boutique wine shop. I was hesitant because it looked like a run-of-the-mill liquor store from the exterior, boasting “deli sandwiches,” “fine cigars,” and — oh yeah, right — “premium wines.” But thinking about the meal for one I had waiting at home, I peaked in to see if maybe they had a little something to accompany my evening plans. I hit the hole-in-the-wall jackpot at this place. Wines from reputable winemakers big and small lined the walls. Even better, suiting my personal needs, there is a whole isle dedicated to half bottles. And so it was here that I discovered Miner Family Winery and their delectable Viognier.