Dragonette Cellars Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc 2016
The depth of Dragonette’s wines begin in the vineyard with rigorous attention to detail to canopy management and crop yields. The clusters are gently handled during harvest and processing and then fermented with indigenous yeasts. There are no manipulations of the wine in the cellar either. Racking and the use of new oak is absolutely minimal. Only portions of the Pinot Noir lots are fermented with a very small amount of whole clusters, and Dragonette’s red wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Soils: Grassini Family Vineyard, thin soils of sandy clay loam / Vogelzang Vineyard, maritime soils with serpentinite rocks
Fermentation: spontaneous fermentation / pressed
just after harvest / ferments 30% in steel tanks
and 70% in French oak barrels / temperature
Harvest Technique: several passes by hand and
sorted in the vineyard
Happy Canyon, as we all know by now, is one of the top appellations for Sauvignon Blanc in California, if not the entire US. Its unique climate, warm to hot summer days and cool to cold evenings, is ideal for promoting full phenolic ripeness while still retaining critical acidity, and its maritime soils (laced with magnesium rich serpentinite) provide a fascinating mineral component to the wines. This bottling represents an appellation blend of lots we feel express the characteristics of Happy Canyon; explosive but bright yellow and tropical fruits and melons balanced by fresh, clean and present acidity. The wine is a 50/50 blend of grapes from Grassini and Vogelzang vineyards. Grassini is planted high density on thin soils of sandy clay loam with some serpentinite, which gives wines with complex aromas and flavors of sweet ripe melons and kiwi, underpinned by key lime and baking spices. Vogelzang’s sloping blocks give yellow spectrum, tropical flavors of mango, guava and pineapple, with laser like acidity. The 2016 version of this wine is again, delicious, with perhaps a bit more immediate verve and energy than the 2015 version (which received 92 points from Antonio Galloni in Vinous Media, and 90 points from the Wine Advocate). The wine has wildly effusive aromatics, plenty of midpalate fruit, and a crisp yet juicy finish, laced with stony minerals. Despite its immediate appeal, it will age effortlessly for 3-5 years and drink well for many years after.