Grapelive: Wine of the Day March 19, 2020

2018 Corral Wine Company, Sauvignon Blanc, Zabala Vineyard, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County -photo grapelive

2018 Corral Wine Company, Sauvignon Blanc, Zabala Vineyard, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County.
The new Corral Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Zabala Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA, it has become a hot spot for interesting and aromatic versions of this grape and this fresh and delicious one is worth checking out. The Corral Wine Co. is a family run micro (craft) winery in Corral de Tierra, that has a few acres of Pinot Noir vines and looks forward to releasing their estate wine in the near future and in the mean time that have done a nice job with this Zabala sourced Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is also the debut for winemaker Adrien Valenzuela, who has been patiently waiting for his chance to show of his cellar skills outside his day job at Constellation Brands in Gonzales. A Salinas and Monterey County native Valenzuela, who was studing biology and nursing, took an internship at Estancia and caught the wine bug, his first solo wine that he made in his garage was a hit at the Mid-State Fair, taking a Gold Medal. He is a winemaker for some of the Robert Mondavi line and getting experience as Corral gets itself off the ground, but as many other young winemakers have found out it is a tough road to success and there was many roadblocks along the way and it is great to see these young people taking their chance and making it in this tough business.

Fermented and aged in stainless, this 2018 Zabala Sauvignon Blanc is excitingly vivid, zesty and pure, making it a great Summer sipper and a white that goes great with lighter cuisine, especially delicate fish, goat cheeses, salads and picnic foods. The nose is striking with gooseberry, wild herbs, white flowers and citrus in this tangy refreshing white that leads to a light zippy palate with loads of lemon/lime, white peach, quince and papaya fruits as well as a nice cut of bite from natural acidity as well as mineral and wet stone elements. It has been very interesting to see a Monterey County renaissance of Sauvignon Blanc, it is an amazing turn around for this grape locally, it’s a trend I didn’t see coming at all with the alternative grape varietals doing so well here, like Vermentino, Picpoul, Grenache Blanc and especially Albariño. I first heard of a re-focusing on SB from Ian Brand of I. Brand & Family Winery and La Marea Wines, he told me it would happen, telling me that the climate and soils made it possible for Sauvignon Blanc to shine here, and his has been proven right, in particularly with his own Zabala version, Joyce’s Old Vine Carmel Valley SB, Chesebro’s, Drench Wines (also Zabala!) and this beautiful and crisp Corral release. 2018 and 2019 are stunning vintages for Sauvignon Blanc, in Monterey, and I recommend searching for this small production wine.
($24 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive