91 Points, The Wine Enthusiast
Pine & Brown 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Mendocino Ridge)
This wine is exceptionally smooth and polished, showing a gentle but not too-soft texture that carries fresh apple and lime flavors and subtle oak accents like nutmeg and vanilla. With medium to full body, it feels like a barrel-fermented wine but without obvious oakiness, and shows good layering and concentration..
–J.G. abv: 13.1%
The Connoisseurs” Guide to California Wine
PINE & BROWN Mendocino Ridge 2017
Precision as opposed to potency is the immediate message here, but the wine is far from being in the least bit lacking in substance and fruity depth. It is redolent of kiwi and green figs with a deft touch of fresh grass, and it shows an uncommon sense of crafting and structural seamlessness to its wonderfully long-lasting flavors.
It is a Sauvignon Blanc that should age famously on the strength of its careful balance, but it will make lovely drinking in the near term for those who choose not to wait
|Dimensions||16 × 5 × 5 in|
The Mendocino Ridge is one of the highest appellations in California. This Sauvignon Blanc vineyard is situated at 2200 feet above sea level and lies about 10 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. The area is often referred to as an island in the clouds, as most of the ridge rises above the thick marine layer that blankets the coastal mountains on summer mornings. On this hill the Gube-Garcia-Snook complex soils are well-draining on 30 to 50 percent slopes, and the roots are in clay loam down to about 34 inches before hitting paralithic bedrock.
We hand-harvested the Sauvignon Blanc on October 7th, and the clusters were allowed to cool overnight on their skins. Skin contact allows the juice to extract delicate aromatic chemicals called thiols that contribute to vareital character. We de-stemmed about 90% of the fruit, leaving the balance as whole clusters to facilitate pressing. The fresh juice was extracted using a small, stainless steel basket press and transferred to three-year-old French Oak Burgandy barrels for fermentation. After completing fermentation, the barrels were topped, and we began the batonnage cycle of regular lees stirring. This method served two main objectives: to prevent oxidation and to release polysaccharides from the yeast cells as they degrade. Batonnage contributes to a fuller and rounder palate without sacricing the racy acidity needed for crisp mouthfeel. After five months in barrel, we bottled the wine in the traditional Burgandy bottle as a nod to the Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine, Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre in the Loire Valley that inspire our winemaking style. Only three barrels (fewer than 900 bottles) were produced of this truly hand-crafted Mendocino Ridge Sauvignon Blanc.