Grgich Hills Estate Essence Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
For all of the difficulties faced by winemakers in what was a cold and rainy vintage, the 2011 Grgich Hills Essence was a brilliant Sauvignon Blanc in its youth, and it remains so today. It is an altogether compelling wine that has made good on its promise of complexity with expansive, very deep aromas of honeydew melons and flowers with a light, never overly aggressive, grassy veneer that are echoed in kind by its continuous, still wonderfully vital flavors. It is fascinating, immensely satisfying stuff now, and we would not bet against its ability to improve with further age. One need look no further to find convincing proof that well-made Sauvignon Blanc can reward cellaring just as much as any white variety and, for that matter, a good many reds.
Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz joined his uncle at Grgich Hills Estate in 1986 and has since become the wineries winemaker and VP of vineyards and production. Ivo has always had a passion for organic and regenerative farming practices. He has committed to farming each of our five estate vineyards organically without the assistance of pesticides or herbicides.
"At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides," Ivo says. "Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive."
The health of the vineyards has and always will be a top priority for Grgich Hills Estate. With each glass of their wine, they hope that you can have the confidence that they have grown the best grapes possible in healthy, organically farmed vineyards.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of red wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. California wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce red wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California wine has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
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.