"This vintage is bright and racy, with flavors of passion fruit, pear, lemon and grapefruit. Minerality notes, lively acidity, and green grassy elements balance the wine nicely. It finishes long with a touch of zesty lime. My favorite wine with oysters, it pairs well with most all seafood."
Christian Roguenant, WinemakerVARIETAL HISTORY TASTING NOTE
Owned and farmed by the Niven family, the Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley of California provides grapes for this wine. Originally planted in 1973, these are most likely the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines south of the North Coast. With the Pacific Ocean lying only four miles to the west, its influence creates one of the longest growing seasons in the state. As in the cool climates of both France and New Zealand, the grapes leisurely ripen, creating fruit of structured minerality and good acid backbone.
Winemaker Christian Roguenant doesn’t take Sauvignon Blanc making lightly; in fact, he has developed quite a complicated method. Not only does he harvest in three stages, he keeps up to ten or eleven lots separate the entire way through the winemaking process. Additionally, he employs traditional techniques to achieve pure varietal character in his finished wine.
Christian harvests at different levels of ripeness in order to achieve his ideal finished wine. One portion is picked a bit early; the higher acid and lower sugar in the berries bring a crisp citrus and slight herbal character. The middle portion is harvested at balanced ripeness, while the third is picked a little later in the season. The fruit in this last batch provides tropical notes and a round mouthfeel. Clusters are picked from different vineyard blocks at each of the three stages, and fermented separately. About a third of the lots were cold soaked for six hours to extract aromatics. Stainless steel tanks provide the perfect environment, and the fruit is kept at a cool 55 degrees during fermentation, usually lasting six to eight weeks. There is no oak influence or malo-lactic fermentation added, as Christian sticks to the age-old methods. There are generally ten or so separate wines made during the winemaking process, and he painstakingly blends them to his liking before bottling.