Sunday, October 21, 2018

Wine Review: High Valley Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016

October is Shannon Ridge Month on!

High Valley Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016

In 1995, Clay Shannon discovered a magnificent piece of property in the hills overlooking Clear Lake in Lake County, thirty-five miles north of Napa’s famed vineyards. He quickly set out to develop vineyards, Clay’s vision was simple: "We wanted to grow the best fruit in the world,” says Clay, “but we wanted to do it in a way that made us happy living there... The landscape is rugged and wild, and so are our neighbors – we’re surrounded by wildlife. We’ve got ducks, geese, deer, raccoons, quail, golden eagles, bald eagles, wild turkey, chipmunks and bobcats that visit us regularly. We are also visited commonly by bears, mountain lions and elk." 

Shannon Ridge is passionate about preserving their land, not only for great vineyard sites, but for the wild creatures which share the property. Their sustainability practices integrate a flock of sheep that clean the vineyards, remove the excess canopy, and reduce the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer. “Sustainability wasn’t some philosophical concept;" says Clay, "it is the way we live our lives.”

All of October is dedicated to Shannon Ridge! This is review #6 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

High Valley Vineyards is Shannon Ridge's label from the High Valley AVA in Lake County, which is between 1,600 and 3,000 feet in elevation. Luckily, High Valley had harvested 95% of their fruit before the wild fires hit the North Coast in 2017. The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is from the north facing slop of Betsy's Vineyard, fermented for over a month at 13°C in stainless steel, and has a 13.6% ABV.

The color of the wine is a veeeeeery pale yellow. The nose is just an explosion of clementines, followed by pears, honeydew melon, cilantro, and hay. I am in love with this nose. On the palate it's a fuller bodied Sauvignon Blanc with a slick mouthfeel with a bit of a chemical feel to it, moderate acidity, and a dollop of sweetness. There's flavors of pears, melon, orange zest, lemon zest, and spearmint. Then it finishes dry on the tongue but with a coating of fruity goodness over your teeth and the sides of your mouth.

Every aspect of this wine left me to believe that there is a hefty amount of Semillon in here. It's a California Bordeaux Blanc, no doubt. But my instinct on the Semillon was wrong because it's 100% Sauvignon Blanc. And I'm okay with that because, according to my wife, I've been known to be wrong like every day of the week for eleven years.

So, it's fantastic. I love it. Perfectly rounded to perform well all on its own and also with a ridiculous amount of dishes from salad, seafood, pasta, grilled veggies, pork, dessert, etc. Is it a surprise that, from a predominantly red wine producer, it's a white wine that I have loved the most?

Price: $30
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge by Trio Wine Company for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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