Simi Sauvignon Blanc 2017
This brilliantly clear, pale-straw-colored Sauvignon Blanc is fresh, bright, and crisp. The wine opens with complex aromas of lime zest, Meyer lemon, pink grapefruit, lemongrass, freshly cut hay, honeysuckle, and a hint of wet stone. Fresh and forward with zesty flavors of lime, lemon, and grapefruit, fresh herbs, and passion fruit with a lively acidity. The finish is long and lingering with lemongrass and mineral.
SIMI Winery Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler suggests pairing this wine with shaved spring vegetables and radicchio with shallot Sauvignon Blanc vinaigrette, Dungeness crab salad with endive and Meyer lemon dressing, BBQ scallops with salsa verde, arugula pesto tortellini, and roasted sole with parsley, capers, and garlic. It’s also a great apéritif with prosciutto and melon, goat cheese, poke salad, or raw oysters.
Blend: 98% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Sémillon
Since 1904, SIMI Winery has never been without a female winemaker on its staff. It began with Isabelle Simi who ran the winery for sixty-six years (1904-1970), to the first and second female graduates of the esteemed Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis (MaryAnn Graf and Zelma Long) and continues to this day with Director of Winemaking Susan Lueker. A scientist at heart, Susan fell in love with winemaking from her first enology class. In her words: “I loved the vineyard, the interaction with the people, nature and science”. Susan joined SIMI in 2000, and today she carries on Isabelle’s legacy while creating wines with harmony and a true sense of place that promote the unique beauty and diversity of Sonoma County.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous 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, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. 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. 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.