92 Insider Points
This 2014 Sauv Blanc is tasting great, juicy and ripe, a classic example of Napa Sauv Blanc, loaded with citrus and fresh cut grass. Cool it way down to enhance the crispness of the wine and mellow the ripe tropical fruit notes. Another fantastic wine from our friends at Laird, and as usual at the lowest price in the country. Drink now through 2018. - DZ May 2016
Napa Valley, California
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Ace winemaker and celebrity consultant Paul Hobbs is one factor in this pure and bracing Sauvignon Blanc. The other? Laird’s Big Ranch estate vineyard in the heart of Napa’s Oak Knoll appellation. Together, these two contributors equal a stunning summertime white that exemplifies refreshment.
Just about a thousand cases of SB are made from Laird’s Big Ranch estate, a fortunately placed vineyard just around the corner from Laird’s winery that benefits from Oak Knoll’s characteristically cool growing season--which translates into crisp, dry Sauvignon!.
For this Sauvignon Blanc grapes were fermented in 100% stainless steel and crafted into a bright, subtly piquant style with gobs of forward fruit characters like pineapple and grapefruit, lemon/lime and juicy pear. The nose is also fruity but balanced by grassy hints and a touch of the tropical, and the palate ends nicely with verve and minerals. No oak means that this wine is all about sleek fruit, freshness and verve. There’s none of the smoky, buttery notes associated with old-fashioned fumé blancs here! Free Shipping on 6+ bottles means this dry and refreshing white goes down easy at summer gatherings large and small. Great with salads, seafood, poultry and pork!
Reasons why we love it:
Novice vineyard owner Ken Laird picked Robert Mondavi out of a phone book 40 years ago when looking for a knowledgeable consultant (Mondavi’s name was the only one he recognized!).
Paul Hobbs is one of a two-member team at Laird Family Estate. Equally renown winemaker Julian Gonzalez, formerly of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Dominus, Ch. Potelle and Mi Sueno, handles the day-to-day winemaking duties here.
According to the Wine Spectator: “2014 was a dream vintage, with quality along the lines of 2012 and 2013.”
The Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, located just north of the town of Napa, enjoys a climate several degrees cooler than St Helena or Calistoga to the north, due to the influence of coastal fog streaming in from nearby San Pablo Bay. This low temperature is responsible for the freshness, elegance and balance of wines from this relatively new AVA (established in 2004).
Translucent straw color and enticing floridity shine in summer our stunner: dandelion, jasmine, honeysuckle, kumquat, and Asian pear delight on entry. Balanced, yet vibrant core of acidity evokes an impression of pink grapefruit and pineapple; a refreshing layer of minerality hits your mid-palate. The elegant, botanical finish opens into a complex balance of white peaches, nectarines.
From the winery: Our story begins nearly 64 years ago outside of South Boston Virginia as 12-year-old Ken Laird drove his mule wagon through tight rows of sticky, fit-to-be-harvested tobacco leaves. As the gooey bundles were thrown up onto the wagon, little Ken led his mule team to the curing barn. It was there, with his grandmother, great uncles, and cousins, they would stoke smoky curing fires for their prized tobacco. Ken would be the third-generation Laird to carry on the farming tradition.
While growing up to be a big-city mechanical engineer in New York City, Ken held on to family tradition by buying his first Napa Valley parcel in 1970. This neglected piece of land, adjacent to Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, held 70 acres of worn-down prune trees. With Prohibition 40 years gone and Napa Valley positioned to re-emerge as viticulturally significant, Ken decided to develop the orchard into a grape vineyard. While knowing just short of nothing about viticulture, Ken was also $150,000.00 short to properly develop the orchard into a respectable vineyard.
Picking up a tattered phone book, Ken went to the yellow pages and found eight listed wineries, Robert Mondavi being the only one he recognized. With a phone call, Robert Mondavi himself agreed to walk the property. After the two men discussed soils, vines, yields, irrigation, and proper pruning, Robert agreed to finance a deal with Ken if he would plant 50% Gamay. The deal was struck with a resulting vineyard of 50% Gamay and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, Mr. Mondavi guaranteeing Ken’s Cabernet “to be the highest harvest price paid in the Valley.” The support and encouragement of Robert Mondavi would allow Ken to return to his passion: his family farming heritage.
Enjoy with summer salads, grilled vegetables, aromatic seafood dishes and fine asian cuisine.