2006 Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc •Peterson and Windsor Oaks Vineyards
California: Sonoma County
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Deerfield Ranch Winery.
LOOKING FOR BURGESS CABERNET SAUVIGNON? Please check back after midnight for this superb wine!
Mission Codename: Sancerre, West…
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Deerfield Ranch Winery and secure a great white for summer.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Deerfield Ranch Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaker: Robert Rex & Michael Browne
Sauvignon Blanc, grown all over the world, is most notably known for its great wines from Sancerre in the Loire Valley, France and Marlborough in New Zealand. California premium Sauvignon Blanc has, as a result of better wine making and using only the best harvested fruit, has improved dramatically from many of the lackluster wines that are mass-produced and mass retail marketed. Spend the time to find the better Sauvignon Blancs and you won’t be disappointed.
A Note about the ZORK:
This wine sports a brand new type of cork called a ZORK. The Zork is removed by pulling and unwinding the plastic capsule revealing a synthetic cork that can be reused as a stopper. The unique Zork help to preserve this delicious wine in between pours.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Clear and pale straw yellow in color with thick legs that hint at this wine’s viscosity. This wine shows a springy surface that catches the light and reflects brighyly.
Smell – Medium intensity tropical fruit, citrus and lychee flavors with a hint of flinty minerality (a required component in this spy’s opinion).
Feel – Cool and wet with a unique flinty mineral quality, medium acidity that adds to the crispness as well as a creaminess that pleases the palate.
Taste – Flavors of tropical fruit, grapefruit, citrus and Granny Smith apples. A small oak component.
Finish – Medium long with with nice flavor complexity that lingers with its tart fruit flavors.
Conclusion – A delicious and easy to drink Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is crisp making it ideal for warm summer nights and lends itself to spicy food, fresh or slightly aged cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses and grilled fish. Overall a very nice wine!
Those who know me, know that among my most favorite white wines, are those from Sancerre (and Marlborough, New Zealand) is very close behind. Unfortunately, too often I end up tasting a Sauvignon Blanc that is, well for lack of a better word, ordinary. And most lack the most critical of flavor components for me, the minerality that emerges as a flinty and wet rock flavor indicative of the Terroir.
So, when Agent Red sent me to taste yet another Sauvignon Blanc, I was indeed skeptical. But perhaps this time would be different. It was a visit to Sonoma’s Deerfield Ranch Winery (Sonoma County Vintner member). We have featured a couple of their wines and all were very nice. This would be their first white for their dossier.
Well I am happy to report that this wine stands up to its billing! The 2006 Sauvignon Blanc is bright and crisp with good acidity, tart tropical fruit and, indeed, the mineral component, that I just love. While its not a Sancerre or Marlborough, its a delicious Sauvignon Blanc with a unique California flair.
This wine lends itself perfectly to the upcoming summer barbeque season and also sports the latest in cork technology. The Zork (see details above) make bringing this wine on a picnic or to the beach easy. And, just in case you have any left over (I’m betting you wont), you can easily recork the Zork.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Deerfield Ranch Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Bright and Crisp, yet fuller and more generous than you expect with an uncommonly long finish.
Perfectly vine ripened grapes were hand sorted and whole-cluster cold pressed. Multiple yeast fermentation started in a tank with the temperature slowly lowered to 45 degrees. The final stage of fermentation was in neutral oak barrels in our cool cave. Fermentation took five months, producing a generous amount of glycerin, contributing to the unique sensations it arouses in the mouth.
2006 was an exceptional vintage, especially for early ripening varietals like Sauvignon Blanc. The spring was warm and the summer mild. Winter rains waited until the last grapes were harvested.
This wine truly provides an unrivaled complexity and an exceptional depth.
We harvested by hand in small bins so as not to crush the grapes on the way to the winery. We hand sorted the bunches, removing anything that wasn’t perfect. We started the fermentation on native yeast to maximize the influence of the vineyard, and then inoculated with a pure strain to highlight the nature of the grape. Fermentation was done in open topped fermenters punched by hand. Small lots were segregated, allowing us to use unique protocols of separate batches, ultimately adding to the complexity of the whole. The pressing was gentle and long, controlled by our state-of-the-art computer operated press. Barrels from several coopers were selected for their affinity to Syrah. Aging was extended for almost three years to fully develop the more subtle nuances of the wine. The wine was made cleanly assuring very low levels of histamines and sulfites assuring no red wine headaches or allergic reactions.
About The Winery:
Deerfield Ranch Winery is an award-winning winery located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley at Kenwood. We specialize in small lots of handmade wine from select Northern California vineyards. Currently we have 17 vineyards under contract and make as many as 40 separate lots of wine from those vineyards.
Our wines can be tasted FREE at the Family Wineries of Sonoma Valley tasting room at 9200 Sonoma Highway (Highway 12) in Kenwood.
We make several wine varietals and blends, something for everyone, a wine for every occasion
Production lots vary from 250 cases to 1000 cases. We will produce about 8,000 cases in 2005, and plan to grow to a maximum of 25,000 cases per year in our New Winery.
About The Winemakers:
Robert Rex started making wine in 1972 in Berkeley, California. He has worked for many different wineries, started wineries for others, specializing in rebuilding wineries and starting winemaking programs for those wineries when they changed hands. He has taught winemaking and still acts as a consulting winemaker.
Michael Browne, a native of Washington state, started making wine as an intern at Deerfield Ranch Winery in 1997. Now in his 6th year at Deerfield Michael handles the day to day cellar duties at the winery. He maintains and monitors three vintages of wine in the barrel and more than 35 separate lots from the last vintage alone. He is much more than assistant winemaker, he is part of the dynamic duo of Robert and Michael, the winemakers.