Back in January I toured the winery within a winery facility at Rodney Strong Vineyards alongsie Winemaker Greg Morthole. In addition to many of the higher end Rodney Strong Wines, Greg works on the Davis Bynum Wines. We tasted a ton of wines out of barrel and tank that day at all stages of development. One that I recalled standing out was a Single Block Sauvignon Blanc that was set to be a new release for Davis Bynum. I try not to have expectations when tasting wine but the strong memory of tasting this before it was bottled lingered in my mind when I popped the cork on the finished product. The question would be whether it was going to be as good 7 or so months later as it was in its developmental phase. The Davis Bynum 2012 Virginia’s Block Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Garfield Ranch in Windsor. As the name indicates all of the fruit used was from one block. Virginia’s Block was named after winery founder Davis Bynum’s wife. This offering is entirely Sauvignon Blanc. After harvesting the fruit was fermented utilizing native yeast. Fermentation and aging took place entirely in stainless steel. This wine which is distributed in only three states, New York, Florida and California has a suggested retail price of $25.
Aromas of papaya, guava and lime leap from the nose of this 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus and tropical fruit flavors dominate the mellifluous palate; a gentle grassy note plays a subordinate role. One gorgeous flavor after another hits your senses as all the fruit characteristics are joined by spice and mineral elements. Everything comes together into a refined, balanced and elegant package that’s a cut above the vast majority of Sauvignon Blanc in this price range. Bits of honeydew melon, as well as continued spice and mineral notes emerge on the lengthy finish which is crisp and loaded with zippy acidity.
The inaugural release of the Davis Bynum Virginia’s Black Sauvignon Blanc is a stunningly gorgeous effort. Davis Bynum was the first to make single Vineyard Pinot Noirs in Russian River Valley so making this wine is also a wonderful way to honor his lasting impact and legacy. One note of caution when drinking this wine, avoid the temptation to over chill it. Serving it a few degrees warmer than the average white allows all of its layers and subtle charms to shine ever so brightly.
The answer to the question I posed above is that this offering is even more memorable and fantastic as a bottled wine than what I recalled from before. Lot’s of wine comes my way to taste. And generally that’s what happens I taste it, make my notes and the rest goes down the sink so I can move on and taste the next one. Not on this occasion, here was a wine which was a very rare case indeed; I ended up drinking the entire bottle. It was entirely too delicious to dump a single drop.