Santa Ynez Valley
Since our first sauvignon blanc from the Westerly Vineyard in 1998, I have been delighted with the character of this vineyard. However, in my quest to make even better wine, I have been working with the grower to direct vine growth to insure that the fruit ripens more evenly. This result is achieved by pruning the vineyard using the cordon method and removing unwanted shoots in the spring to concentrate the vigor of the vine exclusively into the fruit-bearing canes. While this has resulted in lower yields, with those lower yields a savory mineral-y character has become apparent, and it is very appealing. This character I attribute to the very poor fractured shale soil that the vine roots grow in. To avoid mucking up this distinctive fruit, I try to take a delicate approach in the winemaking. The wine is barrel fermented in older barrels that do not impart oak flavors, and the malo-lactic fermentation is blocked, keeping the wine fresh and zesty. This year’s effort is bone dry and highly aromatic–and delicious.
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 7 Months
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“One of the greatest California Sauvignon Blancs I have tasted over the last decade is Ojai’s 2004 Sauvignon Blanc Westerly Vineyard, a wonderfully crisp, melony, fig, and honey-filled offering. With striking minerality, bracing acidity, medium to full body, and loads of freshness and flavor, this terrific Sauvignon admirably demonstrates the potential for this largely ignored varietal in Santa Barbara County.” – RP 93 Points