Eight Arms The Argonaut Sauvignon Blanc 2013
From the winemaker: "Let’s face it. I love a great glass of wine. Why else would I be crazy enough to start my own winery! When tasting wine I like to experience what went into the making of it, from the terroir, to the vineyard, and finally the grapes. I want to drink wine for the experience of sharing it with friends and family, to evoke a wonderful past experience, to create a new memory, and to fall in love.
"As an artisan winemaker selling something special is better then being the least-cost producer of a commodity. Most people are looking for a connection between what they eat and drink and the person who made it or the place it came from.
"I strive to make the best wine possible, but won’t guarantee that they will taste the same from year to year. I want to be able to incorporate the variability of a growing season into the bottle of wine. Just like each vineyard will impart a different flavor and aroma profile onto the wine, each growing season is different from the last and this will also be reflected in my wine. I will also strive to be as green a business as possible, reducing carbon and fossil fuel usage wherever possible and purchasing grapes from organic or sustainably farmed vineyards."
Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.
Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.
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.
In the Glass
From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it 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.
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.
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.