House: Duckhorn Vineyards
Name: Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Napa Valley, USA
Price: 144 DKK/19,30 EUR/23,90 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 225 DKK/30,20 EUR/37,30 USD)
Wine-making in USA
Wine has been produced in USA since 17th century when early settlers brought their wine-making knowledge with them from Europe. The continent had several of its own strains of vine that were high-yielding so only a few grapes were brought from Europe. These wines however did not match the quality of wines the settlers were used to back in Europe so extensive vine shipping occurred somewhere in the middle of 17th century.
Nowadays, all of the 50 states produce wine to some extent but 95% of the whole production comes from 4 states. California itself produces more wine than all the other three big wine states (New York, Oregon, Washington) combined. The most popular regions are Napa Valley and Sonoma but high quality wines can be found all over the country (for example: Willamette Valley in Oregon or Finger Lakes in New York).
I will talk about wine industry in USA when I come back to this country with other wines. Now let’s take a look at its most famous region: Napa Valley.
Napa Valley as a wine region
Located in state of California, just about an hour drive from San Francisco, Napa Valley is the most famous wine region of the new world. It is mostly famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, which I will take a look later. Besides marketing efforts and world-class winemakers, what makes Napa special is the terroir. The combined influences of San Pablo Bay and the hills of the North Coast Ranges are responsible for the valley’s very particular climate. Fog coming from the bay cools down the area. Without this fog, the area would be very warm and wines would not be as balanced as they are. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa is famous for grapes such as Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Merlot (used mostly for blends), Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc on which I will take a closer look today.
Duckhorn Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2016
This wine consists of 84% Sauvignon Blanc and 16% Semillon. Upon pouring I noticed quite high viscosity of the wine. In the nose we get a very intense mineral aroma with significant notes of peaches. In the taste we get a light, subtle acidity. Tasting notes are peaches, ripe green apples and a hint of lemon. This wine has quite powerful and long aftertaste.
This was my first experience with a top-class American white and I was quite impressed. This is a wine for fans of rich and juicy white wines, similar to good white Bordeaux. Next time I come back to this region, I will taste their famous Cabernet Sauvignon. I am already looking forward to that.