The High Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is a single vineyard (Betsy’s Vineyard) located in the High Valley sub-AVA of the Lake County AVA which is directly north of Napa. High Valley is one of Shannon Ridge’s family of wines.
Shannon Ridge is owned by Clay Shannon who farms several thousand acres of vineyards. They use 50% of the grapes for their own wines and the other 50% is sold off to other wineries. You have probably experienced Shannon Ridge grapes and not know it.
The vineyards are sustainably farmed, they use sheep to control weeds and provide some free and natural fertilizer. Using sheep to help in vineyards is called the Ovis Cycle, here is a link with a quick explanation of the process.
The High Valley AVA is centered in Coastal Ranges in northeast Lake County and features and has volcanic ash in the soil. The vineyards are located from 1600 to 3000 feet in elevation. So this is a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc with a unique terroir.
The 2018 vintage was Shannon Ridge’s longest vintage in 25 years, giving the grapes all the time they needed to fully develop. Fermentation for this Sauvignon Blanc lasted for a month in stainless steel tanks.
The High Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is a wine I found on sale for $11.99 but sells on Shanon Ridge’s website for $27. Wine selling on a winery website is often priced higher than retail wine shops since a winery typically gets most of its sales from wine shops and does not want to interfere.
I am looking forward to tasting this Sauvignon Blanc, it won’t be like a New Zealand SB or one from the Loire Valley in France, or Coastal Chile or Central Coast California. I should be a new flavor of Sauvignon Blanc, not exactly like all the rest, but maybe not so different either. The alcohol content is 13.1%.
High Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is a very pale wheat yellow, from some angles it almost looks clear. the nose is both bright and mellow, there is bright crisp lemon/lime, green apple, a pleasing spice scent, melon, unsweetened pineapple juice, and tropical fruit.
This Sauv Blanc is again a clash of textures, sweets fresh flavors, and an austere edge. It has that acidity I love in White wine where your palate tells you to take another sip before your brain does.
It starts with tangerine mixed with lemon, followed by ripe peach and nectarine. The mid-palate offers soft spice, pineapple (not sweet), some of that nutty, salty “on lees” thing, and sharp, tart lime.
- If you are into Sauvignon Blanc you need to check out the High Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
- It has some interesting contrasts, bright and juicy, along with hard-edged and brooding.
- Most inexpensive Sauv Blancs do not require your focused attention, they just make you happy when you sip them.
- The High Valley demands a bit more of your attention, you can drink it as one of those springtimes in a bottle Sauvignon Blanc. But you will be better served if you contemplate the flavors at least for the first few sips. This wine is worth your attention.