With oceans of Sauvignon Blanc produced all over the wine world, it’s not hard to conclude that the variety is mainly a workhorse white, easy to plug into just about any food pairing that calls for white wine. That conclusion would not be wrong.
But then, there are the Sauvignons that rise well above everyday wines, whether from the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, New Zealand, or California, to name just some of the regions where the grape is grown.
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This $35 wine from Napa’s Yountville AVA is one of the most exciting California Sauvignons out there: relatively light, refreshing, balanced, and complex — a wine of distinction that stands out in a crowded field.
At its core are delicious fruit tastes: grapefruit, green apple, Meyer lemon, and mango. Interspersed with the fruit are touches of menthol, mineral, and vanilla, the latter from aging on the lees and judicious use of oak. This is not one of those “grassy” Sauvignons, which have their place and their admirers.
Unlike most winemakers in the Loire and Bordeaux, for example, many in California like to barrel-age their Sauvignon Blancs. And while some take on a Chardonnay-like creaminess, that’s not the case with Gamble’s wine, in which the wood accents rather than dominates.
It would be a nice accompaniment to lighter dishes like moules-frites, grilled chicken with your favorite seasoning, sushi, and aromatic Thai and Indian dishes — as well as being great on its own.
Established in 2005, Gamble Family Vineyards farms about 175 acres of estate vineyards in a number of Napa’s top AVAs, on land the family has used for farming and ranching since the early 20th century. Among its many wines, the 2021 Rosé is on VinePair’s list of the 25 Best Rosé Wines of 2022.