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Steelhead Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County, North Coast, California
    13.5% ABV
    • WE90
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Appealingly fresh aromas of honeydew and lime. A ripe tropical fruit core is balanced by acidity and a mineral note. The wine finishes with citrus and a hint of the classic Sauvignon Blanc grassy character. Enjoyable on its own and versatile with poulty, fish and crustaceans.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Steelhead

    Steelhead Vineyards

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    Steelhead Vineyards, Lake County, North Coast, California
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    The Steelhead brand began as a tribute to steelhead and Coho salmon and our commitment to restoring their habitats in Northern California waterways. Working with state and university organizations as well as Trout Unlimited, our restoration efforts include, rebuilding spawning grounds within creek beds that have led to the return of Steelhead trout during the spring. The successful restoration of these watersheds has inspired others to do the same.

    Lake County

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    A warm inland area just north of Napa Valley, Lake County represents a new frontier for California winemaking. While Prohibition halted viticulture here just as it did in so many California regions, winemaking activity remained fairly insignificant for a few decades longer than others. Finally in the 1990s Lake County Sauvignon blanc—uniquely savory and fruity—earned the appellation a renewed reputation.

    Lake County is comprised of a handful of unique American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

    Vineyards that settle into the hills on the west side of Clear Lake create the Clear Lake AVA and produce good quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc and Zinfandel.

    Recently the Red Hills AVA, located within the boundaries of the Clear Lake AVA, has become the focus of some of Napa’s more respected growers. Its notable volcanic and obsidian-based soils could be the source of California’s next best Cabernet Sauvignons. Andy Beckstoffer, a leader in recognizing prime Napa Valley vineyard locales, has already invested heavily in the area.

    Guenoc Valley AVA produces fine examples of Petite Sirah, recognized for their voluptuous aromas of clove, cocoa, tobacco and deep red and blue berry flavors.

    The High Valley AVA sits northeast of Clear Lake. This warm area boasts multiple soil types allowing growers a lot of flexibility and experimentation with grape varieties. While Sauvignon blanc is a mainstay, this zone excels with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, as well as other less common varieties like Barbera and Tempranillo.

    Sauvignon Blanc

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    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 here 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-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

    Perfect Pairings

    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 can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    SOU182005_2012 Item# 134918