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Fortress Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Sauvignon Blanc from North Coast, California
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

The Musque clone produces a Sauvignon Blanc reminiscent of a fine white Graves. This wine is crisp and clean with bright acidity and notes of kiwi, honeydew melon, and ocean brine. It is an excellent wine for pairing with cheese.

Critical Acclaim

WE 90
Wine Enthusiast

Fortress is piling up quite an impressive record for good Sauvignon Blanc at a fair price. Their 2008, which is unoaked, combines crisp acidity and extreme dryness with complex flavors of lemons, grapefruits and gooseberries. Sommeliers should scoop this one up.

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Fortress Vineyards

Fortress Vineyards

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Fortress Vineyards, , California
Fortress Vineyards
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.

Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines, the Mosel is a region of Germany formerly known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer—named thusly for the three rivers that flow through its dramatic valleys. Geology, climate and topography are paramount here, and the wines produced communicate a distinct sense of place. In addition to being prized for their heat-retaining properties, slate-based soils lend a stony minerality to the wines, contributing to some of the most recognizable terroir in the world. Cool temperatures necessitate the use of the region’s rivers to reflect heat onto the vineyards, and the best wines are made from sites with south or southwest facing slopes to receive sufficient direct sunlight for ripening. The breathtakingly steep slopes that straddle the river banks cannot be worked by machine, contributing to a high cost of labor (and treacherous working conditions).

Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically the sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type, and altitude. These wines, dry or sweet, are distinguished by marked acidity, low alcohol, and intense flavors of wet stone, citrus, and stone fruit. With age, a pleasing aroma of petroleum often develops. The lesser plots are mainly planted with lower-maintenance but relatively neutral varieties like [Müller-Thurgau] and other German crosses, but Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can perform quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

CAR541344_2008 Item# 102429

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