Mission Codename Lieff it to the expert
Jacob Franklin, Heidi Berrett, Brunello, Spring Mountain… We have had some absolute bangers lately!
So, here’s a much NEEDED breath of fresh air from all these BIG REDS. A cool climate Sauvignon Blanc by a MASTER WINEMAKER!
We came very close to scoring a deal by him before, but before we could lock the target, his wines sold out at full price. Mostly to a devoted mailing list. So, we dug deeper, leveraged our most advanced mind control tactics, and convinced him to part with just a little bit. Today we reap the rewards!
Without further burying the lede… Lieff Ranch!
Proprietor Robert Lieff is a bona fide celebrity. As an attorney, he is one of the most famous around. Yet his Napa roots as a cherry picker (literally) there in 1960 always brought him back to wine country as a partner and investor. After helping Robert Mondavi start his winery in 1966, he co-founded Far Niente, and Vichon later sold to Robert Mondavi. In the late 1990s, he settled in Rutherford’s Auberge Road to start Lieff Vineyards, and in the early 2000s, he ventured into Santa Barbara wine country.
As a champion of local expertise, he commissioned winemaker extraordinaire Doug Margerum who has his own impressive resume. Prior to Margerum Wine Co., in 1981 he founded Wine Cask, a fine wine retailer and an award-winning restaurant in Santa Barbara. From 1986 through 1998, Margerum partnered with Bob Lindquist of Qupé, and Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, honing his winemaking skills alongside two highly influential visionaries, while his reputation made him a legend in his own right.
Most recently, Margerum was a Winemaker of the Year nominee by Wine Enthusiast and he’s quite the specialist of Rhône and Bordeaux varietals. His Sauvignon Blancs always hit big scores and sell out, no matter how pricey or affordable they are. We discovered this before the press could get to it. With its more than sensible 12.1 alcohol, it’s all about nervy, juicy acidity and minerality, with a lithe mouthfeel. The citrus notes co-mingle with stone and tropical fruits, with all the yum factor one could wish from a flashy SB!
Oh, in case you wonder how exactly we scored this crazy good deal, Robert Lieff decided to move back to Napa, selling his ranch and vineyards. Per Robb Report “Most million-dollar homes have wine cellars, but few come with a full-blown vineyard. Those who want a never-ending supply of Sauvignon Blanc would do well to invest in the latter, which is good timing because a $16 million estate in Santa Barbara just listed with 26 acres of vines.”
Or scoop that same delicious juice up by the case for a mere $23 a pop, while it lasts.
What the Winery Says
2021 'Lieff Ranch' Los Olivos District Sauvignon Blanc
- Doug Margerum
- 100% Clone 1 Sauvignon Blanc
- Los Olivos District, Santa Barbara County
- Lieff Ranch Estate
- Total acidity
- 7 g/L
- 12 months
- Fermented & aged
- 100% stainless steel