Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dry Creek Vineyard 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

My first introduction to Dry Creek Vineyard was probably not unlike many other wine drinkers. I spotted a bottle of their California Fume Blanc with a sporty painting of a sailboat on the label. Soon after I was awash with the fresh taste of cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.

Dry Creek is entering their 40th year of family winemaking in Dry Valley and is a pioneer in California Sauvignon Blanc. They launched the very first Sonoma County Sauv Blanc in 1972. Founder David Stare is probably the biggest reason that Dry Creek Valley is now known for producing world class wines instead of prunes.

The 2010 Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a new release from a vintage that was one of the most challenging of the last decade. There were late spring rains, a cool summer and then several heat spikes. Thankfully the winemakers kept a steady hand on the tiller and were able to bring in the grapes with full ripeness, flavor and balance.

Sauvignon Blanc is a favorite grape of ours, especially Green Dragon, who favors the style of Marlborough New Zealand. She has thumbed her nose as some recent California Sauvignon Blancs, so it was a moment of truth when she sipped the DCV.

This Sauvignon Blanc easily won her seal of approval, with the grassy aromas and citrus zest that is a hallmark of the variety. It’s an energetic wine swirling with floral and pineapple flavor notes. The wine is medium bodied for a white leading into a mouthwatering finish. The finish turned from citrus to a mineral note.

Our preference for Sauvignon Blanc is steel fermentation, and this wine has no oaking whatsoever. In fact, no oak barrels are used on any of DCV’s Sauvignon Blanc wines – preserving its crisp and refreshing character. This is a juicy wine that will pair nicely with shellfish. It’s a great value at $16.

I had always wondered about the incongruous image of the sailboat on a label from a “dry” creek. The sailboat reflects the family’s commitment and passion for the sport, but it is easy to imagine the boat on a sea of wine sailing boldly towards the next successful vintage.

Full disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.

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Rating: 3.5 of 5
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