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California Success Story – Sauvignon Blanc Report

Wine Spectator
April 30, 2024

California Success Story

Innovative winemaking is driving Sauvignon Blanc to new heights of popularity and acclaim

By MaryAnn Worobiec, from the April 30, 2024 issue – a brief excerpt

Among California white wines, Sauvignon Blanc was once overshadowed by Chardonnay whose dominance in the state seemed unrivaled. But lately this underdog grape has emerged to widespread recognition in its own right. With a refreshing profile and an attractive quality-to-price ratio, Sauvignon Blanc from the Golden State has captured the hearts of wine lovers, becoming the go-to white for many occasions.

Napa’s St. Supéry was one of the state’s early converts to a fresher, juicier style of Sauvignon Blanc, spurred by the arrival of winemaker Michael Scholz in 1996. He moved fermentations from large oak fermenters to stainless steel tanks to focus on fruit purity, using neutral barrels and concrete tanks to add complexity.

Among other California producers, concrete continues to gain popularity, as evidenced by the newest bottling in the St. Supéry lineup: the Dollarhide Sauvignon Blanc Cold Concrete Fermented.

Are wine lovers paying attention to such details? For some consumers, brand loyalty will guide their wine buying decisions as they embrace a particular style, but Scholz at St. Supéry sees another side to the coin. “Consumers are paying attention to where their beef is raised, only purchasing sustainably sourced fish, seafood and produce,” he says. “Knowing where the grapes were sourced for their favorite bottle of wine is also of importance. There is nothing more authentic than an estate wine that has consistency of place year after year.”

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Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Estate 2022 91 points
Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Dollarhide Estate Vineyard 2022 points
Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Cold Concrete Fermented 2022 94 points (winery exclusive)

March 27, 2024

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