A New Generation Sauvignon Blanc?
Dry Creek Vineyard has been a family-run winery for more than 45 years. Located in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, it has a long history with Sauvignon Blanc. Founder David Stare was the first to plant the grape in Dry Creek Valley.
The second generation, President Kim Stare Wallace and winery partner and husband Don Wallace, is leaving its imprint on the winery and its favorite grape. The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Vineyard takes a twist on traditional Sauvignon Blanc.
The wine incorporates not only Sauvignon Blanc, by 13.5% Sauvignon Musqué and 5% Sauvignon Gris. With warm weather rapidly approaching, we wanted to get to the bottom of this new bottle. Literally!
Something Old And Something New
Sauvignon Musqué arrived from France in 1962 and this clone or Sauvignon Blanc is now a popular planting in California. The grape is aromatic and provides a vibrant and juicy weight to the palate. Sauvignon Gris is a unique copper-colored grape. Although sparsely planted in France, it is used by some of the top Bordeaux wineries as part of their blend. At least a couple eminent California wineries, Chimney Rock and Chalk Hill, have released single varietal Sauvignon Gris.
Dry Creek Vineyard is known for delivering great quality at affordable prices. The 2017 DCV Sauvignon Blanc is $20, but delivers flavor beyond its price tag.
The 2017 growing season was challenging, with record-setting rain, followed by foggy and windy days and an extreme heat wave. By the time the wildfires came in October, almost all the wineries lots had been harvested. Despite that, the grapes show an excellent concentration of flavors.
In the glass, the 2017 DCV Sauvignon Blanc differs from most other California Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Musqué adds depth, giving it a light-medium body. The Sauvignon Gris provides a nice layered complexity. The fermentation regimen is also unique. Stainless steel tanks were used for 82% of the grapes while the rest fermented in a combination of acacia, neutral French oak and chestnut barrels. Prior to 2016, the aging was 100% stainless steel.
The end result is a wine with tropical fruit aromas and a slightly creamy texture. The barrel fermentation adds nice character. This is a distinctive wine, engagingly different than somewhat boring “typical” California Sauvignon Blanc and yet not as “over the top” as some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Dry Creek Vineyard’s 2017 release is Sauvignon Blanc to the 3rd power. Chill it down and check it out.
Full Disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.