Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara CountySB

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Since 1983 we have consistently produced one of the more unusual sauvignon blanc’s in the state. Few people take the varietal seriously, but we think that with a little attention it makes a fabulously complex and food friendly wine.

We start in the vineyard and have the grower tend our blocks using organic methods. Close attention is paid during the growing season to encourage early physiological ripeness—which is to say we are looking to have ripe flavors at modest sugar levels so that we can avoid having a wine of excessively high alcohol. Once harvested we gently press the whole clusters of fruit and ferment the juice in older French oak barrels. The wine is bottled in the spring and then ages for almost a year before we begin selling it. On first release this sauvignon blanc is racy and fresh, but those with the wherewithal to hold it for a few years can see how it transforms into an amazingly complex and exotic drink with age.

One of the wonderful lessons we learned from the cool vintage of 2010 was that if the farming is done right we can harvest these sauvignon blanc grapes a little less ripe and produce a more harmonious wine. This 2014 proves the point that we don’t have to experience the conditions we had in 2010—an extraordinarily cool summer and late harvest—to make a wine of balance. 2014 was hot and the harvest was early, but by carefully water stressing the vines in July we were able to trick them into producing grapes with mature flavors at lower sugar levels—and this has given us a wine that is fresh, alive and gentle on the palate.

Our 2014 possesses a strikingly pungent bouquet of lemon, herbs and minerals that is brought into focus by the aroma of white flowers and ruby red grapefruit. The palate is brisk and mineral-y and comes alive with something as simple as a bit of goat cheese on a slice of homemade bread or a platter of fresh oysters. This is decidedly not a cocktail wine, it demands food and blossoms with it.

Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc | Alc: 13.0% | Vinification: Barrel Fermented in Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 7 Months | Total Production: 873 cases

Press Reviews

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard is terrific. Intensely aromatic, but not at all green or vegetal, the 2014 exudes varietal nuance and character, with notable depth and textural intensity. Yellow orchard fruit, mint and candied lemon are nicely delineated. Despite its mid-weight personality, this is an especially phenolic style of Sauvignon.” – AG 92 Points