If the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production in France is the Loire Valley, then the benchmark in California is Chalk Hill—that northeast corner of the Russian River Valley where a thermal belt runs through its chalky white volcanic ash. And my summer “time to entertain” pick is the Chalk Hill Estate Sauvignon Blanc. This new age blend almost tastes like candied lemon peel with undertones of white peach and a hint of something tropical. Chalk Hill’s complexity balances rich and creamy without the usual barnyard hay. Catalysts for its deliciousness include French oak barrel fermentation, sur lie aging and an artful blend of white grapes.
Sauvignon Blanc’s rise in popularity parallels the vogue of farm-to-table restaurants. We love our foods fresh, creative and served with wines to match. French Market Bistro wisely cornered the market on the 2009 Chalk Hill Estate Sauvignon Blanc, which it serves BTG. This Sonoma white pairs perfectly with Chef Megan Nealy’s daily ocean-to-table special. Both Chalk Hill and French Market Bistro deliver. As of press time, the 2010 vintage will be available, for a short while, at all the usual places.
|Scott Reis is a venture capitalist whose prior investments include Churchill’s Cigar and Wine Bar as well as Grand Cru Market and Wine Cellar. E-mail Scott at [email protected].