2021 Desparada Vela Sauvignon Blanc Chelle Mountain Vineyard
From the critics:
Robert Parker | 97 RP
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP
Wine Details for 2021 Desparada Vela Sauvignon Blanc Chelle Mountain Vineyard
|Type of Wine
: If you're in the mood for a creative, compelling white wine, few regions can compete with California, and it's immense varietal diversity. With the pure, potent essence of grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Gris, these wines will stimulate your senses and arouse your intellect. Give in, and enjoy.
: The varietal of Sauvignon Blanc, which hails from Western France and now successfully grown in emerging and established wine regions all over the world, is an ancient grape. Sauvignon Blanc and its red counterpart, Cabernet Franc, gifted to the world of wine its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon. Its progeny has become the most popular and widely planted varietal in the world but Sauvignon Blanc is no slouch, ranking among the top ten, itself.
Its exact emergence upon the earth is still undetermined, but appears to be indigenous to central France (the Loire Valley) or to the southwest France (Bordeaux). There is still discussion as to Sauvignon Blanc’s actual origins, with both Bordeaux and the Loire claiming to be the grape’s homeland. Both fashion incredible wine from the varietal and have been a leading force for the wine’s world-wide popularity. Sauvignon Blanc is so popular today, that 123,000 hectares are planted to the varietal across the world, ranking third among all white wine producing varietals, behind only Airen (218,000ha) and Chardonnay (211,000ha). The origin dispute aside, the grape’s versatility means its regions and styles are remarkably diverse, both within France and internationally.
Sauvignon Blanc’s geographical spread and versatility means it is found in a range of styles from classic dry white wines to individual, highly aromatic international interpretations to highly unctuous, sweet wines. The Loire appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume produce, arguably, the greatest example of the quintessential Sauvignon Blanc offering, often as a single-varietal and unoaked bringing forth wines that are mineral, citrusy, steely, bright and reasonably long-lived. Pouilly and Sancerre are home to some of the top selling Sauvignon Blanc domains in the world, from Dageuneau (Pouilly-Fume) to Vacheron (Sancerre).
Bordeaux also produces a classic dry white from Sauvignon Blanc, but is most often in the form of a blend of Sauvignon and Semillon. Haut-Brion Blanc, Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux (100% Sauvignon Blanc) and Cos d’Estournel Blanc are some of the top selling, quality white Bordeaux offerings. Whereas the typical winemaking techniques of Loire do not involve oak-aging, it most often does occur in Bordeaux, giving the wine a signature texture and a mix of herbal and tropical aromas. In Sauternes (including Barsac) a very unique winegrowing method is implemented. The grapes of Sauvignon Blanc (Semillon and Muscadelle) endure a long hang time in which the late Autumn fog and humid climate attracts Botrytis Cinerea, a fungus that attacks the grape, also known as noble rot. The result is an unctuous, utterly delicious golden liquid that has placed the wines of Sauternes as some of the most characteristic and expensive in the world. Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Climens are undoubtedly among the top producers in the region.
Outside of France, Sauvignon Blanc, with its diverse and easily manipulated qualities has grown in popularity and now inhabits over 38 countries in some of the greatest terroir hotspots including New Zealand, California, Chile, Spain and Australia. Sauvignon Blanc arrived in California in the 1860’s but the varietal’s mainstream influence on American consumers wouldn’t come until 1966 when Robert Mondavi fashioned a dry white in the style of a Loire wine, naming it Fume Blanc. The varietal has only grown in quality and popularity in America since.
Sauvignon Blanc thrives in terroirs and climates that mimic that of the Loire Valley, where it perhaps, reaches its full zenith. The soil consists heavily of flint (silica), which gives it a smoky aroma found in both Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre. However, Sauvignon Blanc is quite adaptable to a myriad of terroirs around the world, revealing each terroir through the wine itself. The varietal of Sauvignon Blanc is simply tremendous in its quality, non-discrimination of its elements (to a degree) and has fashioned some of the world’s most intriguing array of wines.
: As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
: With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented.
Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.