Armida Russian River Sauvignon Blanc 2020
For over 25 years brothers Steve and Bruce Cousins have crafted terroir-driven single-vineyard wines from some of Sonoma’s most iconic vineyards including Maple Vineyard, Gap’s Crown, Durell, Parmelee-Hill, and Castelli-Knight. Recently they’ve added Chalone Vineyards Chardonnay and Point Noir from this storied vineyard, the only one in the Chalone AVA at the base of an extinct volcano bordering the Pinnacles National Park. Armida also produces a number of unique offering including Domus Alba (their Sauvignon-Semillion homage to white Bordeaux), Tina’s Block Zinfandel (from an ancient block in Maple Vineyard planted in 1910) and POIZIN, “The Wine to Die For.”
Working with Winemaker Brandon Lapides, Steve and Bruce strive to produce wines that express their provenance, the unique combination of flavors and texture from each different vineyard. The wine making approach is minimalist as the grapes are simply guided in a natural process (picking, fermentation, racking), remarkably unchanged in thousands of years, and resulting in intense, flavorful and complex wines.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.