2021 Proxy Wines, Grenache Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County.
Highlighting the vintage’s cool nature, the Proxy 2021 Grenache Blanc shows a dynamic freshness with vibrant stone fruit, white blossoms, racy citrus and tart melon in a lush medium bodied wine. Proxy is a new small lot winery led by Molly Lippitt, an emerging talent based in Sonoma, who I got to meet with briefly recently and who shared this wine, which I was able to review here. This is a very tidy effort and really captures the varietal in transparent purity, it shows nice depth, ripe flavors, with some spice and tropical notes and good natural acidity that balances this white delightfully. The pale gold Proxy Grenache Blanc was sourced from the Mounts Family Vineyard which is located in the eastern edge of Dry Creek set on rocky soils. Lippitt says her Grenache Blanc vines are tucked in low-lying corner of the vineyard, adding that this block is perfectly situated to enjoy both the warm days of the Dry Creek Valley and the cooling influences of the nearby Russian River, all of which has led to a quality effort here, especially in this cooler year.

Proxy’s winemaker Molly Lippitt, who day job is head winemaker for Naps Valley’s Volker Eisele, has worked the better part of fifteen years in making wines and for some very notable estates, like one of my favorites Paradigm, who’s Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the valley’s best values for top end Cab. Molly has worked alongside some huge names in the business, such as Heidi Barrett, Philipe Melka, Julien Fayard, Mike Hirby, and Scott Rich, helping her gain experience and mentoring her, which is pretty awesome for a young winemaker. For herself, Lippitt focuses on small production single vineyard wines for her Proxy label, and as she says, she’ll be crafting varietals that she enjoys drinking on her days off, like her Dry Creek Valley Grenache Blanc. The Mounts having been farming this vineyard for the best part of 70 years and Lippitt enjoys the fact that this family run vineyard has long history here and really know their terroir and take pride in their hard work. Found in France and Spain mainly, Grenache Blanc is most notable a major player in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc and Côtes du Rhône whites, but it has also found a happy home here in California, as this wine proves!
($26 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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