What We Say 2007 Sauvignon Blanc
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s Gold Medal winning selection from Kelley & Young Winery is a perfectly balanced and utterly delicious Sauvignon Blanc worthy of your consideration
Today’s wine exhibits an extraordinarily high QPR (Quality to Price Ratio)
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Mission Codename: Young at heart
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Kelley & Young Winery, and secure an ample quantity of their Gold Medal 2007 Suavignon Blanc
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Kelley & Young Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Sauvignon Blanc – Robert Young Vineyard
Winemaker: Jim Young
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.
The fruit for today’s wine comes from the world-famous Robert Young Vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. The Wine Spies first became fans of Robert Young wines nearly two years ago. When our field agents fed us early intel that Jim Young, CEO of Robert Young Winery, was crafting his own wines from family fruit, we dispatched Agent Red to investigate immediately. Read his tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Golden yellow, with perfect clarity, glinting edges and a slow and bouncy surface that, when swirled, leaves behind chubby legs that take a long time to emerge
Smell – Medium intensity, leading off with citrus, melon and flinty tropical fruit and apricot
Feel -Round and creamy-velvety smooth on entry, then the wine shows off as its medium body appears, gripping gently as soft tannins take hold at the edges of the palate
Taste – Flavors of grapefruit, soft lime, natural lemon curd and a hint Granny Smith apples, along with a slight mineral component
Finish – Medium long with with great flavor complexity that lingers with its tart fruit flavors
Conclusion – A brilliant Sauvignon Blanc that has character, an amazing mouthfeel and a delicious wallop of great flavors and aromas! Delicious and easy to drink, but not boring (like so many lesser Sauvignon Blancs we have rejected), this wine pleased all of us and thrilled us beyond our expectations. I guess that I should not have been surprised, given the pedigree of the winemaker and the vineyard. Extra covert kudos to Jim Young and his wife, Kelley, who have met their goal of crafting wines that coax the very best out of the terroir of their Alexander Valley Vineyards. This soft yet slightly crisp wine is the perfect afternoon sipper, or a food friendly companion. On sipping this wine during our blind tasting, Agent Sparkle declared it, “So very drinkable!”. She was spot on with that comment. I don’t like very many SB’s, but I love this wine. Decant for a few minutes for best results, and for an added experience, enjoy this wine right out of the chiller and again at room temperature. As the wine warmed slightly, additional aromas and flavors leaped out at me.
With today’s mission, I feel as though I have come full circle. I feel satisfied and complete. Sure, that has something to do with today’s amazing Sauvignon Blanc – but my feelings go way deeper than that.
It all started when I was a junior Operative. And when I say junior I mean completely and utterly green.
The winery was Robert Young Vineyards, my target wine was their fabled Scion. It was my very first mission. Ever – and I while I was nervous at first, I quickly became comfortable.
After what was a rather protracted surveillance and two undercover missions to the winery (in disguise), I was ready for my first formal infiltration.
I moved in, perhaps a little too aggressively, on the winery’s director of sales. We had a great meeting and in less than 15 minutes I had negotiated a sizable allocation for our Operatives.
I left the winery filled with confidence and exuberance. I called HQ to report in and Agent White congratulated me. Boy were those the days.
We scheduled a showing of the wine and send out a dispatch to our early-in Operatives, giving them a preview alert about this great wine to come. And that’s when the call came in. The winery, bless them for this, had run out of the wine. The showing was off!
The highs and lows experienced that week were exquisite. And, thank goodness, never replicated since.
I did experience a wonderful high recently when my phone rang and there, on the other end, was Kathleen Kelley Young of Kelley! Just a few days before, the W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) had issued an alert about this very same winery. It was a short message alert, a Beta-level alert which was important, but I was backlogged with plenty of Alpha tasks.
It was after speaking with Kathleen for a while that I made the connections in my mind… Young… Of course! Jim Young… Yes! Her husband, the Young in the name Kelley & Young, is that Jim Young! Right, from Robert Young!
So, I told Kathleen my story and then she told me hers. Hers is actually far more heartwarming than my own. Certainly, I am passionate about wine. Kathleen and Jim’s passion? Well, that goes way beyond.
For this couple, wine is life and romance and more. It is an enhancement and a vessel for love. Before you accuse me of over romanticizing, you must to at least one of the following: 1) Taste today’s awesome wine, and 2) Spend just a few minutes with Kathleen. Her zeal for finding the soul of the vineyard is both relentless and pure. Her attachment to the land and love of the vineyards are visceral.
With regard to the wine, well, one sip was all I needed to know for certain that this was the finest Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted. Coming from me, a spy that is incredibly hard to please with many white wines, that is the highest praise.
Kathleen and Jim have made this wine from the finest fruit available in the Alexander Valley – or elsewhere for that matter. Their dedication to the vineyards, first, and the winemaking second, shines through in each tender sip.
When I asked Kathleen who Jim makes the wine for, without a moment of hesitation and with a flashing grin on her face, she answered, “He makes the wine for me!” Knowing what I do about Kathleen, I know that she is so deeply into wine that Jim had his work cut out for him. And, guess what? He absolutely nailed it with their 2007 Kelley & Young Sauvignon Blanc!
Today’s wine is special to me in so many ways, but primarily because it is so great.
Cheers to coming full circle. Cheers to Kathleen and Jim for bringing today’s great wine into the world.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Robert Young Estate Vineyard, where today’s incredible wine was born, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Kelley & Young Wines
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Silver Medal – Sonoma County Harvest Fair
About This Wine:
We are so happy to announce the second release of the Kelley & Young Sauvignon Blanc. A crisp and elegant wine that exhibits flavors of ripe grapefruit, honey melon and apricot. It’s long lasting vanilla and lemon crème finish seems endless.
The grapes for this wine were grown at Robert Young Vineyards, hand-picked then cold fermented in stainless steel. The addition of new French oak for just 2 months gives added body and mouth feel as well as creamy vanilla on the finish. We bottled this wine on April 28th and then bottle aged it a little over 6 months before release.
About The Winery:
Many of you know the story, but if you don’t, here it is:
My husband Jim and his family farm about 320 acres of premium wine grapes in the heart of Alexander Valley. Jim’s been working and managing his family vineyards for nearly 30 years, and in 2007 was named CEO of the family businesses which includes the Robert Young Estate Winery as well as the vineyard and about 100 acres of grazing land. Until recently, I too worked for the Young family, but after 20 years, we decided to start this new venture. Truth is, Jim and I love wine; we love to farm it, we love to make it, we love to drink it and we love to share it with friends.
2005 had a bountiful crop and we custom crushed about 10 tons of Sauvignon Blanc at RYEW with the hope that the winery would add one of our favorite varietals to their outstanding line-up of wines which includes; the award winning Scion — a Bordeaux blend, as well as a luscious Chardonnay and an unbelievable Merlot. Alas, it was not to be, and Jim and I could not bear to part with this wonderful juice, especially to an over-saturated bulk market.
After much deliberation, we decided to finish the wine (with the help of Kevin Warren—the RYEW wine maker), giving it our own special style. We hurriedly applied for the various State and Federal licenses and with the help of our friend and neighbor Karin Warnelius, designed the package, and finally bottled the wine on March 23, 2007.
We don’t have a tasting room, just our little office behind our house, and we’re doing everything ourselves, marketing, shipping and yes, even website design. There’s a lot we’re still working on, but one thing’s for sure, we are absolutely tickled to bring you this wine! We feel it was grown with love and attention, it was vinted with care and expert knowledge and we think after one taste you’ll agree, this is one of the best Sauvignon Blancs you’ve ever tasted.
Production: 357 cases
Harvest: August 22, 2007
Bottled: April 28, 2008
Released: Oct 1, 2008