Californian wines just don’t seem to have found their place in the UK market which is a shame because they are not all “red fruit bombs” or “butter bomb” Chardonnays.
I was in Brighton recently for a Napa Valley winemakers dinner and the very first wine served to us was a Californian sauvignon blanc. Many of you may not be familiar with Sauvignon Blanc from California but it first made its mark by being aged in oak. Also known as Fume Blanc, so branded by Robert Mondavi, it was a uniquely American taste and there wasn’t much demand for it on this side of the pond.
Happily, although Fume Blanc is still produced in California, there are producers who have turned away from the oaked style and are now producing fresh and clean sauvignon blancs from the Napa Valley. Long Meadow Ranch is one of those producers. Founded in the 1880s, the ranch is situated in the Rutherford region of Napa and is known for producing crisp, represhing wines.
At the pre-dinner drinks, I was handed a glass of very pale white wine and a crab cake before I could even ask for a drink. Delicious! A very good combination, the sauvignon was full of melon, pineapple and white peach notes while avoiding any sweetness on the palate. A medium-bodied wine, although it was quite juicy, it still retained enough acidity to clear the palate and left me with a cool gooseberry and green apple finish.
Long Meadow Ranch can be found here in the UK from online merchants but currently only their Cabernet Sauvignon is available.
I wasn’t able to try the Cabernet but hopefully they will soon be sending over their white wines. A delightful, juicy white from the States and definitely not a “butter bomb”, as they say.