2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Happy Canyon, as we all know by now, is one of the top appellations for Sauvignon Blanc in California, if not the entire US. Its unique climate, warm to hot summer days and cool to cold evenings, is ideal for promoting full phenolic ripeness while still retaining critical acidity, and its maritime soils (laced with magnesium rich serpentinite) provide a fascinating mineral component to the wines. This bottling represents an appellation blend of lots we feel express the characteristics of Happy Canyon; explosive but bright yellow and tropical fruits and melons balanced by fresh, clean and present acidity. The wine is a 50/50 blend of grapes from Grassini and Vogelzang vineyards. Grassini is planted high density on thin soils of sandy clay loam with some serpentinite, which gives wines with complex aromas and flavors of sweet ripe melons and kiwi, underpinned by key lime and baking spices. Vogelzang’s sloping blocks give yellow spectrum, tropical flavors of mango, guava and pineapple, with laser like acidity. The 2016 version of this wine is again, delicious, with perhaps a bit more immediate verve and energy than the 2015 version (which received 92 points from Antonio Galloni in Vinous Media, and 90 points from the Wine Advocate). The wine has wildly effusive aromatics, plenty of midpalate fruit, and a crisp yet juicy finish, laced with stony minerals. Despite its immediate appeal, it will age effortlessly for 3-5 years and drink well for many years after.