Fortress Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Sauvignon Blanc from North Coast, California
Fortress Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, clean and luscious with fresh ripe fruit, complex aromas and flavors of vibrant citrus, key lime, kiwi, and melon and a refined creamy texture leading to a rich, long-lingering finish. It is a single vineyard wine made 100% from the Musque Clone grown at 2,000-2,400 feet. The combination of the high altitude and red volcanic soil lead to smaller bunches and grapes which capture more intense flavor. There is also a hint of minerality from the volcanic soils and cooling Lake influence. The Musque Clone is from Pont de la Maye in the center of the Bordeaux region and the Fortress Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc is made similar in taste and character to a fine white wine from Graves.
Fortress Vineyards is Fess Parker's new family wine venture built around a unique vineyard site, nearly 20 years of grape growing experience and a singular pursuit of creating a Sauvignon Blanc that rivals the world's best. At Fortress Vineyards, the focus is on one wine only – Sauvignon Blanc - 100% Musque clone. The "magic and mystique of Musque" produces a truly elegant Sauvignon Blanc reminiscent of a fine white Graves wine.
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About North Coast
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Mendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.