Owl Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2015

First of all, don’t try this wine after a glass of chardonnay. That won’t work.

By doing so, I have confirmed (at least to myself) the dry nature of sauvignon blanc, which is good; we’ve been conned by the Kiwis into thinking that wine should taste like grapefruit. If I want a grapefruit, I’ll buy a grapefruit. If I want a wine, I’ll have a wine made to reflect grapes.

Vent over. Here’s a Central Coast sauvignon blanc, or more-or-less unknown lineage. So unknown in fact that neither Vivino nor Delectable can find a match. The labels provide no clue, as they give only the variety, the year and the place.

That might be the key. In other incarantions, it seems this wine came from Dry Creek in Sonoma. Clearly, that isn’t where these grapes came from, and so the mystery remains; why the shift, why the complete change of venue, and how does this one stack up against the original?

Frankly, it doesn’t matter. Once the chardonnay washed out of my glass, the subtle virtues of whatever whomever made this wine did. In a way, there’s a distinct balance between Californian fat and French zing, which is quite an achievement. The difference is the minerality. This glass was made in the traditional style, which is to be true to the fruit, the French way of making wine. Because we’re in CA, the soil has not the characteristics that give the European wine its identity.

Does that mean it lacks character? No. Remember that California lies in an exceedingly active active geological zone. From the point of view of terroir – ground, IOW – she must have some of the most lively on the planet. Whether that translates to the plant, the fruit and then the bottle is a decision you have to make, and ain’t that the fun of wine?

Gently aromatic of white berries, restrained citrus, gooseberries and a resin-y kind of lastingness. On the palate all that carries through to delicious acidity, just-ripe fruits of all kinds and that nice just-tart finish. What I didn’t find is any pith-like character; it’s all fruit and the best that fruit can offer after fermentation.

Whatever is going on here, between the new vineyard, the information blackout and some kind of awesome winemaking, I want to encourage it.