2009 Green & Red "Catacula Vineyard" Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

SKU #1065130 Wine Spectator

 Distinctive, with grassy, pungent herbal notes joining juicy lemon, lime, passion fruit and gooseberry flavors. Tangy acidity. Drink now. 310 cases made. (Web-2011)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "Green & Red Vineyard, named for its red iron soils veined with green serpentine, is located in the steep hills on the east side of Napa Valley. The planting was started in 1972 on ground originally in vineyards in the 1890's. The vineyards are a small percentage of the 200-acre property, which ranges in elevation from 900 to 2,000 feet. Two acres of Catacula Vineyard are planted to Sauvignon Musque. The vines are planted on terraces facing north east at the 1400 foot elevation." The wine made from these vines has light floral and white peach aromas followed by grapefruit flavors. Only 308 cases were made. This is the raciest domestic Sauv Blanc I've tasted in a long time - super zippy with high acid and minerality!" (Christie Cartwright, K&L Staff Member)

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Price: $18.99
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By: Chris Miller | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/18/2012 | Send Email
I’ve long been a fan of this producer for their more elegant leaning, less full throttle Zinfandels, but I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had their Sauvignon Blanc before today. And what a treat. Tasted blind, I would certainly guess this as a well made Graves Blanc or other higher end white Bordeaux. The Sauvignon in the Catacula vineyard is planted to the Musque clone, which in this case expresses itself as slightly Semillon like, with a waxy, slightly pungent honeydew melon aroma and flavor. The snappy, funky herbal quality also reminds me of Sauvignon from Friuli in Italy. There is also a distinct mineral quality, not something California SB’s are known for. And while I get no oak or wood whatsoever, there is a barrel quality in the mouth, although I’m told it’s 100% stainless steel fermented and aged. Simply put, there’s a lot going on in this wine for such a modest price tag. I tasted it this morning at our weekly staff tasting, was quite impressed, then brought the remains home and had a glass with a tagine my lovely wife put together. Chicken with onion, preserved lemon, baby artichokes, ginger, paprika, saffron, black pepper, cilantro and parsley, served over quinoa. That’s a hell of a dish to try and pair with a wine and happy to say this one rocked it. In fact, I really think this wine needs food to shine, as it’s a little wild on it’s own, not ideal as a mindless sipper. And, dare I say, this could probably go another couple years and get even better. Really like it. CM

Additional Information:


Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8