2016 Castle Rock Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc

Winery

Producing low-priced wine is not difficult in California – as long as one uses undistinguished central valley grapes. Yet Castle Rock Winery sells premium, handcrafted wines from the best appellations in California, Oregon and Washington at prices that match those wines labeled “California.” Castle Rock Winery’s secret to providing “appellation wines at affordable prices” is to operate as a kind of “virtual winery,” owning neither its own vineyards nor a winery. Instead it maintains close, long-term relationships with around forty growers in such areas as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Willamette Valley and Colombia Valley and leases state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in all three states. Winemaker August "Joe" Briggs works closely with the growers to ensure they produce the best quality fruit while overseeing the winemaking at the same time. This unique method of operating allows Castle Rock to avoid the “money pits” of land and fancy buildings that sink many wineries and focus everything on securing the best grapes and crafting delicious wines. Since the beginning in 1994, Castle Rock has focused particularly on Pinot Noir, making distinct bottlings from such key Pinot districts as Carneros, Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley. However, over the years the winery has also branched out into other popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Riesling. Though an oft-repeated wine country adage goes, “it takes a fortune to make a small fortune in the wine business,” Castle Rock Winery has shown there is a way to make captivating wines for the discerning drinker without deep pockets. 

Wine

The vineyards planted on hills and plains along the headwaters of the Russian River that flow through Mendocino County make for a sublime pastoral landscape. Featuring alluvial soils and a climate of warm summers and cool autumns, these vineyards produce crisp, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of citrus and pineapple and crisp flavors of lemon and peach make this wine an excellent choice for lunch, an aperitif or a casual dinner of spicy chicken, Asian salads or seafood.

Winemaking

Grapes are harvested cold and whole-cluster pressed to preserve freshness. Juice is cold settled for 24 hours before being racked to stainless steel tanks for fermentation.

Tasting notes

89 points (Best Buy) – Wine Enthusiast. Grapefruit and pineapple with hints of honeysuckle open up to bright flavors of lemon and peach on the palate. A light sweetness balances the acidity in this medium-bodied, crisp and refreshing wine. Accents of slate and earth linger on the finish. 

Appellation

Mendocino

Varietal

Sauvignon Blanc

Size

750ml

Closure

Screw Cap

Alcohol

13.5%

UPC

083837003031