Sauvignon Blanc gets a new (tropical) lease on life under the California sun, from a historic Napa Valley producer.
Producer: Long Meadow Ranch
Region: Napa Valley, California
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Flavors: Papaya, Guava, Key Lime, Salty Minerality
Pairings: Grilled Salmon
What Howard loves about this Sauvignon Blanc is the lack of a group of aroma compounds known aspyrazines. Often attributed to early harvest or cold vintages, pyrazines lend flavors of green bell pepper, gooseberry, and grass to wines. For some, that’s Sauvignon Blanc’s calling card; for others, it’s an aggressively green expression that overwhelms the palate. The Long Meadow ‘ICOB Cuvée’ is distinctly tropical, with papaya, guava, and key lime citrus notes on the nose and rich on the palate. The acidity is fresh and balanced, and the finish is all about salty minerality. Pair this medium-bodied white with grilled salmon or fresh pasta dishes.
This idyllic Napa Valley ranch has been an important part of California’s agricultural history since the late 1800s, when the estate was devoted to vineyards, orchards, and a goat dairy. Prohibition sent the land’s production into dormancy, and it was more or less abandoned for a century, until the Hall family purchased the property with a vision to restore its former grandeur. Today, Long Meadow Ranch covers almost 2,000 acres of land in Napa and points north, and its position as a viticultural and culinary leader in California is without debate—they have a total of six estates under their management, including the famed Mayacamas label. Island Creek Oyster Bar has a tradition of creating proprietary wines with some of their favorite wineries, and this is a surprise home run for Howard. “Historically, I hate Sauvignon Blanc,” she said. “But why I hate Sauvignon Blanc is that it’s often picked too early—this has a very tropical expression, and all that ripe California sunshine.”