Monday, May 20, 2013

Chacewater- Warm Weather Winner

Hailing from Kelseyville, CA (a stone's throw from Clear Lake and a crow's flight north of Calistoga), Chacewater is a small organic winery, olive/soap mill that has only recently begun making their own wines.  Run by the Manuel family, they produce an eye-popping dozen different wines and eight olive oils.  Given their limited production, this was a new name to me, though the Red Hills - where Chacewater sources some of its grapes - is home to some incredible (and underrated) wines.  Definitely a region to keep an eye on. 

Anyway, Paul Manuel sent a hodge-podge of samples for review; three reds, two whites, and a rose.  All are serviceable, respectable examples of their varieties,m particularly given how new the winemaking endeavor is to these folks.  The standout here, however, was the Sauvignon Blanc. 

2012 Chacewater Sauvignon Blanc Lake County $14
Soft, full, supple, yet with a mellow-pitched zing. Not what you expect from Sauvignon Blanc, but a lovely rendition nonetheless. Hard not to wonder if the Red Hills' calling isn't Sauvignons given this terrific example and the many lovely noble variety bottlings from this vastly under-appreciated appellation. But back to this bottle, now regrettably empty (even after being opened just a short Friday evening hour ago)... It fills a void.  Where so many SB's are pure green fruit and citrus - and consequently often quick and vapid - this is a languid stroll of a wine with round edges, lingering mid-palate, and a restful finish.  Lively, lovely, and worth seeking out.

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