Winemakers to watch

To many winemakers — to many booze drinkers — Sauvignon Blanc is an afterthought, “a thespian dress operation for a rest of harvest,” as winemaker Christopher Christensen puts it. Not Christensen; he’s staking a career on a grape. Since rising Bodkin Wines in 2011, he’s done as many as 5 opposite versions of Sauvignon Blanc: one barrel-fermented, one skin-fermented, one late-harvest, one from a Sauvignon Musqué clone, and — his job label — a stimulating Sauvignon Blanc, done in a charmat method, identical to Prosecco. “I adore stimulating booze and we adore Sauvignon Blanc, and if that creates me reduction of a man, so be it,” he laughs. “I grew adult biracial in Iowa in a ’80s. I’m secure in who we am.”

Although Christensen creates his wines in Healdsburg, a heart of Bodkin is in Lake County, a segment prolonged famous for producing inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc of intermediate quality. He finished adult there by possibility — in 2011, Upper Lake’s Sandy Bend Vineyard had some fruit accessible during a final minute. To his surprise, it incited out great. He was tender by how most season majority Sandy Bend Sauvignon Blanc showed during low sugarine levels. That was a light tuber moment: stimulating wine.

But because charmat, rather than methode champenoise? “I’m creation a some-more brunch-style wine,” he says, as against to a “serious food pairing wine” like Champagne. “The charmat process lends a some-more open fruit aspect, a small bit some-more of that (Sauvignon Blanc) varietal character.” Still, a booze is pretty, and precisely textured, never veering into Sauvignon Blanc’s severe, plant side. He calls a bubbly Cuvée Agincourt — a anxiety to a conflict during a Hundred Years’ War, whose soldiers mostly armed themselves with a special arrowhead called a bodkin.

Like all of Christensen’s wines, Agincourt is exciting, and but an accurate anxiety point; not accurately modeled on Prosecco, not on Loire Sauvignon Blanc or Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc — not even, quite, on Lake County Sauvignon Blanc. “It’s been a bit of a training curve, entrance adult with a lighter, lovely booze that also has some play to it,” Christensen says. “I’m looking for a refinement in there; something taps we on a shoulder, says, ‘Hey, I’m here.’”

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