2022 Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaking and Notes: Sauvignon Blanc is only very lightly planted in Oregon with well less than 100 acres currently existing in the state and less than 50 in the Willamette Valley AVA. Despite its modest acreage this white varietal is as well suited for the geology and climate as the other most successful white varieties and far more conducive to be grown in Oregon than the ever-present weed known as Pinot Gris. Over the years we have combined our Estate fruit with a handful of other sites in the Willamette Valley to produce one of the largest (some years, the largest) production bottling of Sauvignon Blanc made in Oregon.
This bottling is made up of grapes planted in 2001 and 2002 from our Estate Vineyard (6%) in Ribbon Ridge, fruit from Oster Vineyard (38%) which is an older vineyard planted in the mid-1990s on the eastern side of the Willamette Valley past the town of Mt. Angel, from a 1993 planting of Pinot Gris that was grafted in 2016 to Sauvignon Blanc at Durant Vineyard (29%) in the Dundee Hills and, lastly, a 2017 planting at a vineyard called Greg’s House (27%) located on the eastern side of the Willamette Valley south of Silverton. So, a truly widespread and all-encompassing Willamette Valley bottling for sure! All these wines were fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.
Primary fermentations were finished in December, 2022 (the wines only went through a partial secondary fermentation and, thus, were sterile filtered) and the wines from the four sites were combined for fining (with clay), cold stabilization, filtration and bottling on January 10, 2023.
An example of how diverse, large and remarkable the Willamette Valley is shown by the fact that we picked the Estate on the 7th of October, Durant Vineyard on the 16th, Greg’s House on the 17th and Oster on October 23rd! TAs ranged from a low of 6.5 to a high of 9.8 and brix ranged from 20.1 to 22.3. This is a true cross-section of fruit from a massive tract of land all coming together to create a very harmonious wine.
This is classic Sauvignon Blanc provided you do not think this variety should smell like cut grass and cat pee. This has high-toned and heavily fruited aromatics with a distinct limey/citrus tinge along with the hint of straw and minerals which is what ripe Sauvignon Blanc should have as its varietal typicity. The strength of the aromatics resounds in the glass as the wine is deeply fruited with citrus notes at the entry giving way to tropical fruit with extremely crisp acidity on the finish. The wine is bright and fresh but retains an enormous amount of texture and richness without being heavy or taking away from its “summertime drinking” sort of nature. This will pair easily with a very wide range of food ranging from summer salads to denser white fish, sushi rolls and nigiri to spicier Asian influenced dishes, risottos with summer vegetables to chicken and pork done on the grill (and while grilling).
Oregon is rightly known for what its Pinot Noir does each vintage. More and more white varieties are beginning to creep into the picture of excellent wines and not just filler for airport restaurant by-the-glass pours like Pinot Gris has always been best suited. Sauvignon Blanc is still a niche grape in Oregon despite its enormous popularity as a wine world-wide. Even in a changing climate landscape this grape is versatile enough to produce a wine that is both true to its European roots and an expression of why Oregon can produce such an incredible range of agricultural bounty.
785 cases produced