by Fred McMillin
for February 6, 1997

A Grape for the Lake

Prologue: Sauvignon Blanc acreage in Lake County: 1970—14, 1990—608.

The Rest of The Story: As the numbers indicate, California vintners have discovered Sauvignon Blanc loves Lake County. with vineyards over a 1,000 feet higher than most of Napa's, the area's higher daytime temperatures burn off excessive grass-herb flavors. The colder nights preserve the crisp, refreshing grape acids. A perfect example of these effects is the latest Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.. much more melon than herbs... just a tad of vanilla oak. My Scott's panel rated it one of the very best Blancs they've tasted in the last six months.

1995 Vintner's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc; grapes principally from Lake County.
Kendall-Jackson Winery
Santa Rosa, CA
Phone: (707) 544-4000, FAX: (707) 544-0156
$11 (fine value)

Category: Excellent

Postscript: Some Lake Lore. Lake County is named after its Clear Lake, California's largest natural lake. Possibly the oldest lake in North America, it was formed about 450,900 years before Kendall-Jackson founder Jess Jackson planted his first vines there in 1974.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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