2020 Storm Wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Presqu’ile Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley.
The bright and spicy Presqu’ile Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Storm Wines is wonderful fresh and unique with a profile that both delicious and excitingly distinct with a range of lemon/lime, lime blossom, melon and unripe peach along with some set stones, sliced jalapeño and spearmint. This light to medium bodied Sauvignon Blanc takes your palate on a thrill ride and is full of zesty intensity making it perfect with shrimp or fish tacos as well as goat dish dishes. As it opens this 2020 Presqu’ile Sauvignon Blanc gains a nice mouth feel and depth while retaining vibrant natural acidity and its crisp bone dry personality, lingering on nicely with classic gooseberry. It is quite additive and far removed from most Sauvignon Blancs in both the old world and here in California though obviously true to the varietal. Storm explains that the diverse soils and microclimates within Santa Barbara County, including the SantaYnez and Santa Maria valleys make it a region with endless possibilities, especially for Sauvignon Blanc, which was pioneered here by Fredrick Brander as far back as the late 1970s. I have really enjoyed the latest releases from Storm, especially the Gamay and the 2019 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir, so I was excited to try this new Sauvignon Blanc and I recommend checking them out.

Ernst Storm, who founded Storm Wines in 2006, grew up in South Africa and completed his studies at Elsenburg Agricultural School, one of the most celebrated wine schools in the world and is located just outside the town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. After completing his final year, Ernst worked as a winemaker in the Stellenbosch region and also spent two harvests in the cooler Walker Bay region in South Africa, while consulting on a few smaller projects with his brother Hannes, who is making some exceptional Pinot Noir. But Ernst really fell in love with California and has worked throughout the state, finally settling in here in the mid 2000s. In recently years Ernst has gained a fine and deserved reputation for making elegantly balanced wines from Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Santa Barbara County has a Mediterranean climate that in a way shares many similarities with that of the Western Cape, in his native South Africa, giving him an even more of a connection and feeling of home. The Presqu’ile Vineyard is located on the Solomon Hills on the Southern edge of the Santa Maria Valley and cooled by Pacific Ocean breezes, this Ernst says, coupled with old marine floor soils makes this site perfect for growing cool climate and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. For this 2020 vintage Storm employed a cool and quick fermentation and it was aged for 6 months on the lees in 100% Acacia wood that adds texture while retaining absolute purity. In the next few months, it will be good to have this Sauvignon Blanc around to quench the thirst on the warm days and evenings.
($35 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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