Van Ruiten Sauvignon Blanc 2010, California
What: This beautiful Sauvignon Blanc helped make a recent trip to the beach with friends even more memorable.
It’s very pale in the glass, with a pleasant aroma of grapefruit and herbs. The taste is fruit forward, crisp and refreshing, with flavors of grapefruit and green apple. I loved it.
The grapes all came from the great Rooster Vineyard in Lake County, north of Sonoma. The Sauvignon Blanc grape is a signature variety for Lake County.
Though the region has been overshadowed by neighboring Napa and Sonoma, it has blossomed in the last 50 years, going from fewer than 100 acres of grapevines in 1965 to more than 8,800 acres of vineyards today. The region has long been a favorite of mine.
The 2011 vintage should be available in a few months, and it should be spectacular for summer sipping. I would serve it well chilled.
I enjoyed this wine with a group of friends once called the Magnificent Seven, now called the Magnificent Eight. I had known Steve and Sandy for years when they asked me to join them on a trip to Napa three years ago. They were going with two other couples and thought I might like to join them. We had a magnificent time and made many warm memories.
We got together a few times since then and have always had a blast. In due time I fell in love with Teri, and with the rest of the group’s approval, we became the Magnificent Eight.
Our most recent gathering was at Edisto Beach, S.C. All of us were there for the first four days and then Sandy, Teri, Steve and I stayed four more days. There aren’t many things I’d rather do than join a group of great friends at the beach to drink wine, eat and relax. We had many fine wines–including several that we had on that first trip to Napa–and the Van Ruiten was near the top of my list.
John Van Ruiten arrived in the United States from his native Holland shortly after World War II with a dream to own his own winery. After a few years of hard work he bought property in Lodi planted with old Zinfandel vines. He planted more vines and soon was selling grapes to wineries.
In 1999 the family opened Van Ruiten Family Vineyards with state of the art equipment an a beautiful tasting room in Lodi. Three generations of Van Ruitens work the 2,000 acres they now own.
Zinfandel has become the winery’s signature grape. A few years ago the Wall Street Journal called their Lodi Zin the best Zinfandel in America. As Lodi has grown, it has become a world-class wine district, with large wineries and tasting rooms sprouting up all over the region.
Van Ruiten produces many varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Old Vine Zinfandel a Cabernet/Shiraz blend and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Goes with: I forgot to open this bottle until after our friends John and Dorothy and John and Edith had left. So we had it with Steve and Sandy and their longtime friends Rich and Nancy, who live at Edisto.
The Van Ruiten was great as an aperitif, served with cheese and crackers, nuts, a spinach dish and some fruit. It was perfect. I also saved a little to try with the shrimp pasta we had for dinner, and it was even better.
We all loved the flavors, and Steve loved the distinctive label.
It’s a versatile wine that you could serve with most shellfish, oysters or light chicken dishes.