2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
By now, most of you will have heard about Happy Canyon’s unique soils (marine, sand and serpentinite) and climate (warm to hot summer days and cool to cold evenings) which are ideally suited for producing exquisite Sauvignon Blanc. We have been sourcing fruit here for over a decade now (and prior to the establishment of the AVA) and have gained a solid reputation for crafting wines of distinction from these grapes. We utilize acreage contracts at several exceptional sites here and work continuously with the vineyard teams throughout the season to achieve plant balance at lower yield in order to maximize fruit quality. 2018 was a surprisingly cool vintage, coming after a series of very warm, early harvest years. Late budbreak and a cool summer led to a long season that extended into late September. Yields were healthy further extending the season. Late August and September were quite cool, with moderate daytime highs, lots of clouds and cold nights. The grapes, generally, moved very slowly toward full ripeness, with harvest being spread throughout September. The wine is a blend of grapes from three top vineyard sources: Grassini (60%), Vogelzang (34%) and Grimm’s Bluff (6%), with a total of 9 separate and distinct blocks represented in the final blend. The site diversity provides complexity to the wine which was fermented and aged for 7 months in oak barrels (73%) and stainless steel (27%). The wine admirably succeeds the 90-92 point wines from past several vintages, with perhaps an little extra energy and freshness, but no less flavor.