We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
Sauvignon Blanc, a grape variety that has found a home in pretty much every major winemaking region of the world, each location offering its own distinct style and footprint on the world of wine. I must confess, I have never been a huge fan of the grape as a whole, as I personally enjoy white wines with a bit more structure and a different set of aromatics. Notes of grapefruit, grass, and cat pee don’t necessarily set my salivary glands in overdrive if you know what I mean.
Merry Edwards is a winemaker in California who has become quite well known for world class Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. Her winemaking career spans over 40 years, and her research on grape variety clones in both France and UC Davis are groundbreaking efforts that have helped her to produce some truly outstanding wines. She has even planted her own clone of Pinot Noir on her Sebastopol, CA estate, called Merry’s Clone, UCD 37.
I had seen the Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc on my local grocery store shelves every time I walked the wine aisle, but the price tag kept pushing me away. I would spend $40.00 on a great Chardonnay, but a Sauvignon Blanc? Really? Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I just had to try this much talked about wine from the Russian River Valley. After all, with the reputation Merry has earned not only as a brilliant winemaker, but also as a true pioneer of winemaking in California spanning decades, what did I have to lose? Here’s my review.
The bottle is weighty, the label a great paper stock, and the lovely green color attractive to the eyes. Once the cork is yanked away, she pours into the glass a straw color with a golden hue. As soon as I swirled the glass, I knew this wine was different; it was something quite unique. The aromas leap from the glass offering notes of buttery caramel, with only a faint nuance of grapefruit and light grassy notes. There is a distinct floral perfume that is intoxicating. The palate confirms the nose nearly completely, with just a delicate kiss of oak. Dear Lord this wine is impressive!
- Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 vintage
- Winemaker: Merry Edwards
- Appellation: Russian River Valley AVA
- Grape Varieties: Sauvignon Musqué (Sauvignon Blanc clone), 40% of which is harvested from old vines ranging from 25-35 years of age.
- Barrels: 6 months in French oak, 18% new, aged sur lie, bâtonnage twice-weekly
- Clarity/brightness: Clear/bright with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: N/A
- Acidity: High
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Medium
- Alcohol by volume: 14.1%
- Retail price: $40.00 (average price at time of review)
What can I say? This bottle of wine has changed my view on the grape and what it is capable of. To put it simply, the Merry Edwards team is basically making Sauvignon Blanc in the same style you might produce an intense and full-bodied California Chardonnay. The aromatics and palate are rich, textural, fruity, and crisp all at the same time. This bottle of wine is very complex and the mouthfeel, especially the mid-palate, is sexy and intense. This is probably not an everyday white wine for most, as the price keeps it on the top shelf, but for what you get in my mind, it is indeed worth the dough if you are willing to spend it on a brilliantly made bottle of wine.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.