Flinty steely musk. Not a speck of… well, there’s a descriptor which has become nearly synonymous with Sauv-blanc description which I refuse to use on my blog–you all know what it is–there is NONE of that here. No, this is all clean toasty brown butter, so light, so ethereal, a touch of soiled carpet that tells you it is fermented alive, but otherwise clean and bright, not even grassy. This is Sancerre, pure and simple, and knowing this winemaker, the intentions are irrefutable.
In the mouth, warm, off-colored melon and vanilla tapioca hesitate briefly before sharp crystal-clear spring water and the bite of acid take over in the middle. Jalapeno and ginger-sprite tingle the tongue–acid’s peppery bite–but the vaguely citrus etch is more chalk and walnut-skin than lemonade. Mind-numbingly perfect in finish, a white wine for true white-wine lovers, at once quaffable and simultaneously stunning in near-religious adherence to classical beauty.
Name your top-5 world-class Sauvignon Blancs made in California and then place this alongside. The Merry Edwards’. The Arkenstones. The Branders. This plays in that field easily and effortlessly.
2016 VELVET BEE Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard Happy Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara 13.15