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Westerly Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Owner & visionary, Roger Bower, is on the cutting edge of an emerging movement in Santa Barbara County. He works closely with all aspects of farming and winemaking, ranch management, as well as sales and marketing. Roger lives on his property, Crown Point, which is located in the heart of the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA. At dawn and at dusk, he can frequently be seen riding his horses amongst the estate vineyards, fruit orchards, and olive groves.
Adam Henkel, a Kentucky native, came to California by way of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he ran a boutique wine shop that enabled him to taste wines with vintners and growers from all over the world. After numerous trips to France, Australia, Oregon, and California, Adam decided to move to the Napa Valley to learn how to make wine in 2004. Following stints at Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena and Swanson Vineyards in Rutherford, he settled in at Harlan Estate in Oakville where he was inspired by the “culture of perfection” and the relentless approach to wine quality.
Adam comes to Westerly after eight vintages as an integral part of the winemaking team at Harlan Estate. As the Direct Assistant to the Winemaker and Cellar Master for Harlan Estate, Bond Estates, and Promontory, he became known for producing profound, character-driven wines in an environment where expectations were always at the highest level.
The viticultural diversity, geographical grandeur, and the opportunity to continue making world-class wines is why Adam decided to leave the Napa Valley for Santa Barbara County in early 2013. Adam lives in Santa Ynez with his wife Kellie and four children.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
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.
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.
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.