2016 Stolpman Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Santa Ynez Valley < CA
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: biodynamic farming, dry farmed; limestone soil; 50% fermented and aged in tank; 50% in large French oak barrels; bottled with <20ppm sulfur; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Sashi Moorman
Peter and Jessica Stolpman practice not only clean farming and winemaking, but also employ what might be the most progressive fair-trade policies in the US wine business. Their vineyard team is employed year-round (instead of seasonally, as with most wine operations), earn true living wages and a share of the profits. The vineyards have been organic and dry farmed since day one, so the soils have never seen pesticides. An homage to the stony Sauv Blancs of the Loire Valley that Peter and Jessice love, this pretty SB is all about the crystalline minerality from the limestone. Because limestone drains all water, of which there is already very little (because, California + dry-farming), so roots are forced to search deeper and deeper in pursuit of water. The search is futile, and the roots suck dry minerality instead, resulting in a bright, zippy wine with limey passion fruit notes, ripping acidity and stony minerality. With none of that green pepper, cat pee thing you often see in SBs. Total crowd pleaser.