Groth’s consummate workhorse, their Sauvignon Blanc—the only white wine Carey and I brought home from our Napa honeymoon. I was only going to be purchasing 2 cases—one to be mailed and the other to ride home with us under the plane. So I even surprised myself when I dedicated 3 precious slots in my stable for a white varietal I drink very little of.
Just sweet enough and incredibly refreshing. Bright tropical and citrus notes on the nose. Pineapple, lemongrass, and pear. Not a trace of bite in sinuses, just gentle aromas. Hefty melon flavors and a juicy flesh accompany on the palate.
There is a slight creaminess of texture, subtly different from the razor-sharp focused Sauv Blancs on the California scene right now. I was perplexed by this because I thought this wine was aged only in stainless steel. Highlighting un-oaked Sauv Blanc was the most fashionable thing going in the Napa tasting rooms. A slight overcompensation in my opinion—perhaps a feel-good move, like trading carbon credits. “We would like to point out that our golden, butter-fat Chardonnay has been completely offset by our ‘oak-free zone’ Sauvignon Blanc.” This wine, on the other hand, carries just a thin oak finger print—even the color, which is a bit exaggerated in the pictures, is soft straw with almost a cool platinum tone. A California Chardonnay loyalist could easily peg this wine as one of those kids that sits at the peanut-free lunch table.
Along with a whole cluster press, this Sauv Blanc is aged sur lie in small oak barrels for 5 months. Sur lie, meaning “on the lees”, allows the wine to age in the yeast and grape particles remaining from the fermentation process. The result is increased richness, complexity, and softer textures.
The best news: 30,000 cases available at about $17.50 a bottle. Not bad from a winery that sells their Reserve Cabernet for $150. Carey and I consider this Sauvignon Blanc a special treat wine, but we did talk about how groovy it would be to buy it in bulk as the future Burden house/picnic/Kadima white.