Sarah's Vineyard Madonne Blanc 2016
This wine reflects its Southern Rhone heritage: sunny, bright, floral, fruity and complex. The wine's ripe apple, peach, lemon crème, and vanilla aromas and flavors will prove a refreshing pairing with summertime, Medierranean fare.
Blend: 61% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 17% Clairette Blanche, 5% Picpoul Blanc.
Marilyn “Sarah” Otterman purchased the initial 10 acres of Sarah’s Vineyard in the southern Santa Clara County's Hecker Pass area in 1977. She then planted seven acres of Chardonnay in 1978. Tim Slater purchased the vineyards and winery in 2001. Tim’s practices include sectionalized irrigation to conserve water, and minimal sulfur use throughout all stages of production. Sarah’s only uses French oak 228 liter barrels, which are topped twice monthly in their humidity controlled barrel room. Bottling is done on premises using Sarah’s own small, fully automated bottling line.
The property occupies 24 acres in the cool climate “Mt. Madonne” district of the southern Santa Cruz Mountains range at a lower altitude that defines it as a part of the Santa Clara AVA. Here in historic Hecker Pass, chilling winds and fog off nearby Monterey Bay mitigate the sunny daytime temperatures and extend hang time. This affords Sarah's Vineyard a coastal microclimate of foggy mornings, sunny afternoons tempered by strong ocean breezes, and chilly nights that are ideal conditions for premium Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rhone varietals.
Home to some of California’s most influential winemaking pioneers of the late 1800s, Paul Masson and Charles Lefranc, the Santa Clara Valley AVA hugs up against the southwestern border of today’s famous Silicon Valley and excels in the production of bold reds, as well as some whites.
Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.