Wine of the week: Producing a top sauvignon

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It’s the duality of the Edna Valley sauvignon blanc that makes it a standout. The citrus and tropical flavors make it pop.

“Harvesting at the optimal ripeness is key for our sauvignon blanc,” said Joe Ibrahim, winemaker of Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo. “A long, cool growing season allows the delightful citrus and tropical flavors to fully develop.”

Ibrahim is behind our wine-of-the-week winner — the Edna Valley, 2013 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc at $15. It’s a grassy sauvignon blanc with great minerality. It has tangy grapefruit and lime, as well as bright acid and a crisp finish. It’s a perfect summer pick.

Ibrahim said the most challenging part of producing sauvignon blanc is the expedience of the pick.

“To express the flavors we find on the vine, it’s imperative to harvest sauvignon blanc close to the winery and bring it in quickly for the best results in the glass,” he said.

The name sauvignon blanc has French origins and is known as the wild white grape or the “savage white grape.”

Interestingly, this savage grape is very territorial.

“It’s very susceptible to flavor differences based on the climate in which it is grown,” Ibrahim said. “In cool climates like the Edna Valley, it retains its acidity and develops grassy and herbaceous flavors with subtle tropical and citrus notes, whereas in warm climates, it will tend to offer more tropical notes of guava.”

In the beginning, the process of fermentation intrigued Ibrahim more than wine.

“I grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley, where I became interested in plants and the possibilities they presented,” he said. “From farming to fermenting, there was never a dull moment to me. I finally settled on wine. Every vintage is different and presents new challenges and opportunities. I truly couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

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