2011 Cep (Peay Vineyards) "Hopkins Ranch" Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

SKU #1089833 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale, green-tinged straw. High-pitched aromas of lime zest and pungent herbs, with a suave floral nuance gaining strength with air. Racy and precise, offering bright citrus fruit flavors that give way to deeper melon and pear on the back end. Finishes dry, tight and long, with resonating spiciness and impressive clarity.  (5/2012)

K&L Notes

It is indeed rare to find a second label of such quality and breeding as Cep, the "offspring" from the exceptional Peay Vineyards. A source of both fantastic value and for winemaker Vanessa Wong to have a little fun, the Cep wines are made from barrels that didn't make it into the Estate bottlings. Sourced from the cool "Hopkins Ranch" Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the 2011 Cep Sauvignon Blanc remains true to its Sancerre-like profile, offering grapefruit and green apple aromas and flavors, chalky minerality, and laser-like acidity. It's crisp, vibrant and refreshing, begging to be enjoyed alongside a platter of fresh oysters or tangy citrus and goat cheese salad.

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Price: $21.99
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Staff Image By: Chiara Shannon | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2012 | Send Email
The 2011 Cep Sauvignon Blanc is truly exceptional. It is crisp and refreshing, with racy apple and citrus aromas and flavors punctuated by fresh hay and blossom, vibrant acidity, and a mineral-driven finish that reveals an almost saline complexity as it unfolds. It shows excellent intensity and focus, with a juicy core of fruit and length on the palate. Enjoy this superb Sauvignon Blanc in lieu of Sancerre - yes, it's that good!

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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.