May 4 is Sauvignon Blanc Day 2018. How much do you know about the versatile, refreshing varietal?Read More
As 2017 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on all the people, events, and especially wines, that made it such a momentous year.
At Vineyard Brands, we feel so fortunate to work with so many talented and and passionate winemakers. These people make wine because it is more than a job- it is their calling. The quality of their wines reflect that.
Red, White, Old World, New World, wines from across our portfolio earned accolades and made Top 100 lists from leading publications.
Two Vineyard Brands wines earned spots on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017.
#19 Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2012:
“Black cherry, currant and floral notes are expressive and alluring, balanced by loamy earth, tobacco and mineral elements that add a savory quality. Firm, well-integrated tannins give support to the polished texture, while orange peel acidity fuels the fresh finish. Drink now through 2027.” 93 points
#26 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Blanc 2015:
“This vibrant and mouthwatering white shows green apple, Meyer lemon and dried pineapple flavors that are fresh and juicy. Lemon verbena and lime sherbet notes reverberate on the long, detailed finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. Drink now.” 93 points
Famille Perrin’s Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015 was recognized as one of James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of 2017.
"All 13 grapes. This has a dark fruited, blueberry and blue plum nose with wide swinging tannins. Some white peppery elements, violets, brooding dark spices, blue fruits and dark plums. Builds from the ground up. Dark stones. Impressive, powerful. wine. Drink from 2025." 97 points
Wine Enthusiast named wine from both Champagne Salon (with a perfect score of 100!) and Massolino to their Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2017.
#11 Champagne Salon Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil 2006:
"This new release from a great vintage for Chardonnay in Champagne in s perfect blanc de blancs, showing a wealth of intensity from the crisp, chalky, mineral tones to the perfumed apple notes. The aromas hint as developing tastiness that adds depth and complexity. The wine is still young and it will age for years. Drink from 2020." 100 points
#25 Massolino Barolo Parafada 2013:
"...The full-bodied palate shows great energy and intensity, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, ripe cranberry, white pepper and clove framed in youthfully assertive, refined tannins and bright acidity..." 97 points
Wine Enthusiast also named Les Frères Couillaud Château de la Ragotière Sélection Vieilles Vignes Sur Lie (Muscade Sèvre et Maine) as #72 on their Top 100 of 2017.
"Old vines, up to 60 years old, are the basis of this concentrated, ripe and intense wine. it is impressive and tightly wound, with layers of rich citrus fruit and a chalky texture. This is still a little young, so drink from 2018."
Decanter's list of the most exciting wines of 2017 included two wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio, one from Warre's and one from Louis Michel & Fils.
#14 Warre's Bottle Aged Late Bottled Vintage Port 2004:
"Vivids damsons and blackcurrants with liniment and spice, giving a luxuriously sweet, soft mouthful. The rich chocolate notes are kept in check by ripe enveloping tannins, beautifully integrated wood and fresh acidity."
#44 Louis Michel & Fils Chablis Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre 2015:
"A delicate herbal and lemony style with crisp apple and a mineral mint character to the fore. Vibrant and vivid yet maintains a lean, restrained nature. Lots of persistence, so more complexity will come."
Some of our winemakers themselves were recognized for their tremendous work.
Berene Sauls & Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd won Top Female Entrepreneur in the Agro-processing category as well as the Ministral Award hosted by the Department of Agriculture Western Cape.
Finally, we were honored to be a nominee for Importer of the Year for the prestigious Wine Enthusiast 2017 Wine Star Awards.
...oh and the French national team celebrated earning their spot at the FIFA World Cup with a bottle of Champagne Delamotte.
2017 has been a year to remember. Thanks to all of you for making our wines a part of your life. We'll leave you with two toasts to the New Year and see you in 2018!
"In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want."
"Here's a toast to the future, a toast to the past, and a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant, the past a bright dream; may our friend remain faithful and dear."
- Sauvignon Blanc is the world’s 8th most planted wine grape.
- No surprise, the grape hails from France. There the wine often takes its name from the region, not the varietal. Sancerre—not Sauvignon Blanc. So when you’re drinking a Sancerre, know it is from the same grape as a Sauvignon Blanc.
- Originally the grape was used in other blends, usually to make sweeter desert wines. In the 20th century Sancerre found popularity in Parisian bars and bistros and the success spread around the globe.
- New Zealand is now one of the most well-known and well-loved producers of Sauvignon Blanc. 90% of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are from Marlborough, the wine region on the northernmost end of the island.
- If you read our blog on Malbec World Day, you’ll remember a nasty little bug called phylloxera that destroyed most of the French Malbec vines. The Sauvignon Blanc vines in New Zealand are all planted phylloxera-resistant rootstock. So take heart, your favorite Sauv Blanc most likely won’t suffer the fate of French Malbecs of old.
- France and New Zealand aren’t the only two countries providing the world with the easy-drinking wine. Italy, Chile, and South Africa are also major producers. (L to R: MAN, South Africa; Reyneke, South Africa; Gradis'ciutta, Italy; Cono Sur Chile)
- French Sancerre (also known as Pouilly Fumé and occasionally Sauvignon Blanc) are typically full of mineral and citrus flavors. ⬇️
- South African Sauvignon Blancs have balanced flavors with a light-medium body and acidity, in between mineral and herbaceous. ⬇️
- Chilean Sauvignon Blancs are marked by their citrus and green flavors and juicy high acidity. ⬇️
- New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have intense tropical green flavors, a nice mix of fruity and herbaceous. ⬇️
- Italian Sauvignon Blancs, also “Old World” like French Sancerres, have a medium body with stone fruit, floral fragrances. ⬇️
- Whatever your preference, you can find just the Sauvignon Blanc for your taste. This is a wine easily enjoyed with or without food.