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Peterson Timber Crest Farms Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Offering the perfect balance between crisp acidity and rich flavors, this Sauvignon Blanc is the ideal "go to" wine for warm weather gatherings, or a serious companion for grilled fish or poultry.
Peterson Winery grew out of the vineyards that now supply us with grapes. That may seem unusual, but my background is not just in winemaking but it is also in grape growing, otherwise known as viticulture. That is why I refer to myself as a winegrower. For me making great wine is about the grapes -- where and how they were grown, what the weather conditions were and how the vineyards were managed during the growing season. Before I digress too much, let me give you a quick overview of how Peterson Winery came to be.
I came to Dry Creek Valley in 1983, working with my partner, Bill Hambrecht, to find and develop world-class vineyard properties. It was exciting to be able to select ideal vineyard locations and then plant the appropriate grape variety and clone for that growing region. Once the vineyards came into production, we had amazing fruit being produced in our Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma County) vineyards and our Mendocino County Floodgate Vineyard. The next step was a natural one. I wanted to make wine from the fruits of my labor. (Sorry about the pun, it was too good to pass up.)
In 1987, all the pieces fell into place and Peterson Winery was born. We now produce 5000 cases annually, mostly in small lots.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.
In the Glass
From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.
The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.
Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the 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 (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.