Clark-Claudon Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Over the next four years as their family grew. Tom continued to refine his grape growing expertise and Laurie learned along with him. In 1979, Tom founded Clark Vineyard Management and began developing and managing vineyards under his own company.
Then in 1989 pressed by a friend, Tom and Laurie hiked a piece of property on the north east side of Howell Mountain. Though unproven, it was the proverbial love at first sight and ideal for a Cabernet vineyard. Because of Tom's considerable reputation, the sellers desire to support the purchase and the couple's willingness to bet on themselves, they leased and developed the property while eventually exercising their option to buy. Working together, the family joked about calling it Sweat Equity, but the vineyard they developed would become Clark-Claudon Vineyards.
Their business was founded in the old tradition of family winemaking where the art begins in the vineyard and ends with a beautiful bottle of wine. The name Clark-Claudon and the logo's meeting of the two feathers represent a joint commitment to the pursuit of their dream and to the preservation of the environment that supports it. Since then, Clark-Claudon Vineyards has received critical acclaim for both their Estate Grown Cabernet and their Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc.
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc.
Tasting Notes for Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine. In its homeland, Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, Sauvignon Blanc expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California's style is fruit-driven, in either a soft and oak-aged or snappy and fresh version.
Perfect Food Pairings for Sauvignon Blanc
The freshness of Sauvignon blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it matches well with complex seafood and chicken dishes.
Sommelier Secrets for Sauvignon Blanc
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.