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2012 Voss Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

Voss Vineyards makes Sauvignon Blanc from a single, organically-farmed vineyard in the Yountville AVA. In past  years, the wine has been made solely in stainless steel. In 2012, however, they experimented with a little bit of wood. Ten percent of the juice was fermented in a combination of new and used French oak. The result is a softer wine with richer body, but no obvious oak flavors.

The 2012 Voss Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley has a gentle nose featuring sweet grapefruit, citrus blossoms and notes of tropical fruit. On the palate, body is medium to medium-plus with a soft, creamy mouthfeel. The flavors are a very attractive melange of sweet and sour fruit: sweet grapefruit, lemon, pineapple and other tropical fruit. This is not an in-your-face Sauvignon Blanc, nor is it austere and mineral-driven. It’s the Sauvignon Blanc next door—friendly, pretty in an understated way, and easy to spend time with. At just 12% alcohol it’s a relatively innocent pleasure too. Drink now through 2014. Recommended+.

2012 Voss Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
vossau main 0
Rating: Recommended+

Drink: Now through 2014
Bottling Date: January 20, 2013

Closure: Screwcap
Production: 2,500 cases
Retail Price: $18.00

Winemaker: Michael Lancaster

Origin: Yountville AVA, Napa Valley
Fermentation: 90% stainless, 10% new and neutral French oak barrels
Aging: none
Alcohol: 12.0%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: not required

Temperature: 50º - 54º F

Food Pairings: white fish (grilled, pan-seared or steamed), Salad Nicoise, Tom Ka Gai soup

The wine above was received as a sample for review.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2012 Vina Robles Roseum Huerhuero Vineyard Paso Robles

Another excellent value from Vina Robles, this rosé of Syrah celebrates Spring with juicy, fresh fruit. The color is dark for a rosé and the aromas are shy either. Sweet strawberry, grenadine, red cherries, cherry blossom, sweet herb and vanilla rise from the glass. Persistent juiciness on the palate is matched with medium-plus body and a delicious fruit salad of crushed red berries, cherry, banana and spice. Drink now through 2015. Recommended+.

VR BtlShot 12 Roseum small2012 Vina Robles Roseum Huerhuero Vineyard Paso Robles

Rating: Recommended+

Drink: now - 2014
Release Date: March 31, 2013

Closure: Screwcap
Production: 480 cases
Retail Price: $13.00

Winemaker: Kevin Willenborg

Origin: Huerhuero Vineyard, Paso Robles AVAi
Blend: 100% Syrah Fermentation: 24 hour cold soak on skins, all stainless fermentation
Aging: none
Alcohol: 14.9%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not required
Temperature: 50º - 54º F 
Food Pairings: fried chicken, salmon with fruit salsa, steamed mussels

The wine above was received as a review sample.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills AVA, Lake County

The Red Hills AVA of Lake County, established in 1984, lies on the southwestern shores of Clear Lake and entirely within the larger Clear Lake AVA. There are upwards of 30,000 acres within the Red Hills AVA boundaries, but just under 10% are planted to wine grapes. It is a warm region and does well with Bordeaux varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The grapes are used not just in local wines but also for blending in higher profile regions such as Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

The two most unique aspects of the Red Hills AVA are its altitude and soil. The lowest portions of the AVA are 1,350 feet above sea level. Some areas reach 2,600 feet. Distinctive, deep red soil covers more than 90% of the AVA. Deposited by nearby volcanoes, it is gravelly — sometimes peppered with massive chunks of obsidian — and well-drained.

Hawk and Horse is a prototypical Red Hills AVA vineyard: 18 acres of red soil scattered with Konocti Diamonds (small, sparkling quartz crystals also known as Lake County Diamonds and Moon Tears). The vineyard undulates from 1,800 to 2,200. feet It is certified organic and biodynamic. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in 2001.

Dark ruby in the glass, the 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of ripe dark fruit (cassis and Chambord), sweet spice and clove orange. It’s nearly full-bodied in the mouth and opens with flavors of sweet black fruit, violets, oak and dark spice. Firm tannins (light-grained and chalky) build from the mid-palate and persist through the lengthy, spicy finish. The wine is ready now but, even after decanting, the tannins want a well-marbled steak. It should be softer after a couple of years in the cellar. Highly Recommended

2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills AVA, Lake County
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: now - 2017
Closure: Cork
Production: 1,150 cases
Retail Price: $65.00

Winemakers: Dick Peterson and Scott Harvey
Blend: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot
Origin: Hawk and Horse Estate Vineyard, Red Hills AVA, Lake County
Aging: 18 months in French oak barrels - 50% new, 50% once used
Alcohol: 14.1%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Splash decant
Temperature: 58º - 64º F
Food Pairings: Ribeye steak

 

Ratings Key:
Recommended = 87-89
Recommended+ = 89-90 
Highly Recommended = 90-92
Highly Recommended+ = 92-93
Very Highly Recommended = 93-95
Very Highly Recommended+ = 95=96
Highest Recommendation = 96-100 

The wine above was provided by the winery for review.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2011 Vina Robles White4

Vina Robles White4 is a an unusual blend of four white varieties: Viognier, Verdelho, Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc. The ratios vary quite a bit from year to year, but I’ve found each release to be very good and an excellent value. This year’s release is another tasty, food-friendly wine.

Two estate vineyards on the east side of the Paso Robles AVA provided the fruit. Vina Robles harvested it by hand in the cool of late September nights and, for the Viognier, on October 12. Winemaker Kevin Willenborg fermented individual varieties separately using a variety of yeasts and fermentation temperatures to maximize each variety’s potential. Stainless steel vinification without malolactic fermentation kept the wine crisp. Post-fermentation aging in neutral oak with occasional lees stirring rounded off the edges.

VR_BtlShot_11_WHITE4_size_1Each variety contributes to the the wine’s engaging nose, but none dominates. Aromas of lemon, dry grass, grapefruit pith, tropical fruit, spice and white flowers waft gently from the glass. The medium-bodied palate is dry, smooth and fresh with flavors of just-ripe tropical fruit, spice and grassy herb. The finish is appetizingly juicy. Drink now through 2015. Recommended+.

2011 Vina Robles White4
Rating: Recommended+
Drink: Now through 2015
Bottling Date: March 14, 2012
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Closure: Screwcap
Production: 3,872 cases
Retail Price: $16.00

Winemaker: Kevin Willenborg
Blend: Viognier (53%), Vermentino (18%), Verdelho (17%), Sauvignon Blanc (12%)
Origin: Huerhuero & Jardine Vineyards (Sauvignon Blanc), Paso Robles AVA
Fermentation: stainless steel tanks, no malolactic
Aging: Neutral oak barrels sur lie, stirring every three weeks
Alcohol: 14.1%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Not recommended
Temperature: 50º - 54º F
Food Pairings: Ceviché, fried calamari or Chinese chicken salad

Related Articles
Vina Robles Winery of Paso Robles
Wine Tasting in Paso Robles — 5 Excellent Stops Near Hwy 101 and Downtown 

 

The wine above was purchased for review.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2010 Quivira Refuge Sauvignon Blanc

Though the 2011 has just been released, the 2010 Quivira Refuge Sauvignon Blanc is holding up wonderfully. I poured a bottle the other day as part of a blind, panel tasting of Northern California Sauvignon Blanc varietals. The 2010 Quivira Refuge was our unanimous favorite. quivira_refuge_2011

A quick sniff told us all that the wine was made in the style of Fumé Blanc (or Bordeaux Blanc). There is oak-aged complexity in the aromas. It’s simultaneously pretty and bold with scents of white peach, dry grass, oak and spice in the fore. Grapefruit, white pepper and chive add interest.

In the mouth, it’s very fresh and flavorful with medium-plus body and some texture from sur lie aging. Spice, white flowers and grapefruit pith embellish the core of ripe peach. Best now through 2013. Highly Recommended

2010 Quivira Refuge Sauvignon Blanc
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2013
Release Date: October 2011
Closure: Cork
Production: 250 cases
Retail Price: $28.00

Winemaker: Hugh Chappelle
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: biodynamic vineyards in Dry Creek Valley AVA, Sonoma County
Fermentation: Begun in stainless steel and then transferred to acacia and neutral French oak barrels, no malolactic fermentation
Aging: 6 months sur lie in acacia and neutral French oak barrels
Alcohol: 14.2%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Not recommended
Temperature: 52º - 56º F
Food Pairings: White fish, braised in butter and white wine, on creamed potatoes

The wine above was provided by the winery for review.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.