Sauvignon Blanc Release


New Sauvignon Blanc Releases
2022 Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
2021 Grassini Family Vineyard
2021 Vogelzang Vineyard
2021 Grimm’s Bluff Vineyard

These wines are extremely limited
There’s only so much to spare of these wines as most of their case production is allocated to the current or upcoming Wine Club, so be sure to act fast.
Cellar News & Notes

After the coolest spring anyone can remember, we are ready for some summer sun around here. Don’t get us wrong, we loved the very wet winter, which provided a good amount of energy for the grapevines and excellent yield potential. However, the cool and cloudy spring so far has not helped with bloom and set. Typically, the vines like temperatures between 80-90 degrees for optimal set.  We have rarely passed those numbers so far this year, even out in Happy Canyon.  We will continue to hope for some warmth to help with set and later on with ripening.

In the cellar we have completed bottling of the 2021 wines (except for the MJM). These wines are extremely promising.  2021 was an almost ideal growing season, mostly on the cool side, allowing measured ripening, excellent physiological maturity and ideal acidity levels. We think you will love these wines, and we will be releasing them as they enter into their drinking windows.  In honor of summer, we thought we would start with Sauvignon Blanc, one of the very best wines to pair with warmer days and lighter summer foods.

Finally, we have spent several weeks evaluating the wines in our case goods library.  We were happy to see these wines (whites and reds) aging wonderfully, with mature flavors, fascinating aromatic complexity, and in many cases many years of life ahead.  We are planning a Library offering of some of these wines in the upcoming weeks. Available quantities will be tiny.  Stay tuned!

New Release – 2021 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blancs and the brand new 2022 Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Sauvignon Blanc

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2021 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blancs from the Grassini Family, Grimm’s Bluff, and Vogelzang vineyards, along with the 2022 version of our appellation blend, the Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara.

As you all know by now, we have been extolling the virtues of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara since its inception as an appellation (2009).  The combination of fascinating soils (alluvial, clay loam, serpentine, river cobbles from old river beds, etc.) and a unique climate (warm days, cold nights) combine to make this one of the most ideal places in the world to grow Sauvignon Blanc.  With 15 years of production under our belt, and a host of the best, most meticulously farmed sites around, we are again able to produce some of the top Sauvignon Blancs in California.

**Note. The Grassini and Vogelzang are wine club selections, and therefore, we can only let a small amount out today, as we must reserve the lion’s share for the club. Given their tiny production, we suggest acting fast, or better yet, joining the wine club to ensure access.

The Wines

2022 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara

This wine is blended from all four of our vineyards. We choose barrels (or tanks) that have a more energetic, taut, and lively character, along with the depth and concentration that these fabulous vineyards can provide when farmed properly. The wine ages for a total of 8 months on the lees, before it is blended, cold stabilized with a light fining (plant and soil-based fining agents) and gently cross-flow filtered before bottling. This wine has routinely been highly rated by critics and coveted by top restaurants. The wine pairs with a tremendous variety of foods with weight and interest lifted by great structure and acidity.

2022 started out as a cool vintage, until the weather turned hot in August. The late season heat rushed the low yielding grapes to maturity, and we picked almost all of the grapes in a 8 day time span. Although sugars were a tiny bit elevated (we picked in the nick of time), the grapes still had fantastic acidity from the cool year prior to August. The final blend is 45% Vogelzang, 33% Grassini, 14% Grimm’s Bluff and 8% Two Wolves. The wine was aged in 90% neutral oak barrels and 10% stainless steel for 8 months on the lees before bottling. The wine is delicious out of the gate showing mixed tropical fruits, crisp citrus-laced acidity, minerals and a touch of fresh herbs.

The 2022 wine has not yet been rated, but the 2021 was widely loved by critics (93 Wine Advocate, 92 points, Vinous).

This wine is limited, as the 2021 has been out of stock for a while, and demand is high.  It will be a great wine for summer (and the summer after that if you can keep some). Enjoy!

2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Grassini Family Vineyard
** Wine Club Wine, Fall 2023

2021 was a relatively long, even, and generally cool year. Winter was dry and cold, but rainfall was very low until an atmospheric river arrived in March and dumped 5 inches of rain in two days. This late season rain helped push budbreak back a bit and cleansed the soils. The Spring was generally cool and windy, extending flowering somewhat, but neither frost nor shatter were a problem. June was cool and foggy, while July turned warmer, but still generally under 90 degrees in Happy Canyon. August was also relatively cool, with even the warmest days cooling off at night. A mostly cool early September (excluding the usual Labor Day heatwave) allowed gentle slow ripening of Sauvignon Blanc, which were picked over a ten-day period in early September. The long season gave grapes with great ripeness at fabulous acidity. Grapes were picked in our three blocks from September 3, 6, 7 & 9.  Yields were solid and acidities were still excellent due to the cool year.

The 2021 Grassini selection was comprised of wines that were aged in 100% French oak barrels (228L) and Cigars (300L), 20% of which were new. The wine was aged on its lees for a total of 16 months before bottling. The wine shows its usual kaleidoscopic green fruited (kiwi, honeydew) and tropical (passion fruit, fresh coconut) and flavors, with nice lift from vibrant, yet round and lip-smacking acidity.

The 2021 Grassini has not been reviewed but the Wine Advocate gave the 2020 Grassini 96 points, and both Vinous and Jeb Dunnuck gave it 94 points.

Extremely limited – Only 250 cases produced, most going to the wine club this Fall.

2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Vogelzang Vineyard
**Wine Club Wine, Winter 2024

Vogelzang is a tremendous site. We have leased several acres here since 2009, and these wines have been some of our most decorated and long-lived wines – as much as the reds!  Vines are now over 20 years old, reducing yields and concentrating flavors. This has always been a top performer in our lineup, and the wine has historically aged remarkably (the 2009 is still going strong, and the 2015 and 2017 still have many years ahead of them).

In 2021 the vessels selected for this wine were 90% French oak barrels of varying sizes (228L barriques, 276L “cigars”, and 300L and 320 L “Muid’ocs”) and 10% stainless steel.  In total the new wood represented 35% of the blend.  The wine was aged for a total of 17 months on its lees before bottling.

The resulting wine shows classic Vogelzang character of powerful stone fruit, mango and pineapple aromas, with some floral and herb notes, followed by dramatic fruit flavors of great concentration and texture leading to a whiplash of citrus dominated acidity and effusive minerality, which gives a tremendous finish.

The 2021 is a worthy successor to the 94-point 2020 version (Jeb Dunnuck & Wine Advocate).  Jeb concluded his review of the 2020 single vineyard wines, saying they were “among the finest expressions of Sauvignon coming out of the Central Coast today.”

Extremely Limited. Only 300 cases produced, with most going to the Wine Club in February 2024.

2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Grimm’s Bluff Vineyard

From its inception, Grimm’s Bluff has been painstakingly and biodynamically farmed for top quality grapes, yields be damned. The vineyard produces extremely small vines and tiny clusters, which give highly concentrated fruit. We selected three separate blocks (head trained clone 1, vertical shoot position (“VSP”)  clone 1 and VSP musque clone) for this wine, which is aged in French oak Cigars, a portion of which is new (light long toast). Here the wood frames the wine, stretching it and lengthening it so that the finish lasts minutes.

In 2021, we aged the wine for 16 months on its lees in 100% French oak of various shapes and sizes (20% new). The resulting wine was all Clone 1, 60% head trained section, 40% VSP. As is typical, this wine is tightly coiled, with powerful minerals from the clay and river rock soils, and deeply concentrated from extremely low (1.4 tpa) yields. Melons and stone fruits are held aloft by citrus, minerals, excellent acidity and the structure from the new oak barrels.

Again, it is too soon for scores on this wine, but the 2020 was 95 points, Wine Advocate.

This wine is extremely limited, only 130 cases were produced.

Shipping Information

As temps across the country rise, please note that we have Fedex refrigerated shipping available (if needed). Shipments go out every two weeks throughout the summer so no need to wait until Fall to enjoy these wines. Most areas have little or no upcharge for this service. We will, of course, check every shipment and let you know if temperature control is needed for yours. Orders in by July 9th are eligible to ship temperature controlled July 10th for delivery on July 18th/19th. The last mile of the delivery is via Fedex Express AM delivery and thus important for an adult to be present for your delivery day. Business addresses are highly advised for temperature sensitive shipments. We also have expedited AM deliveries with ice packs included available if time is of the essence.

In Conclusion

Happy Canyon is indeed a special place, and it grows remarkably high-quality grapes of interest and intrigue. We are so pleased to have the opportunity to work with these growers, and turn their grapes into dramatic, distinctive, ageworthy wines. Enjoy them in health and happiness!

With warmer, sunnier weather ahead, it is a great time to come visit us in Los Olivos (Tasting Room/Study) or Buellton (Winery).



— John, Steve, Brandon
and the entire Dragonette Cellars team