Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2020
This lively wine with a golden-green hue sports an aromatic nose of tangerine, guava, honeydew and cantaloupe melons along with notes of white blossoms and marzipan. On the palate, sweet oak is balanced by crisp acidity, with a juicy finish featuring a splash of zesty grapefruit.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
An aromatic nose of stone fruit, fresh tropical fruit and jasmine. Full-bodied with a nice,oily texture. Fruity and lightly honeyed on the palate. Lavender and lily. Steely. Loire-like. Always an excellent sauvignon blanc. Drink or hold
The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc is fruity and refreshing. "We did a lot of whole cluster pressing," winemaker Heidi von der Mehden responds when I ask about new approaches in 2020 in response to wildfires. "I think it helped with the texture of the wine and took out a bit of bitterness" she continues. "It started as a logistical decision in 2020, but we liked it, so we will continue to do more whole cluster pressing moving forward." It's a significant dedication to quality for one of their largest cuvées, and the 2020 also contains about 60% estate fruit. This Sauvignon Blanc offers pretty aromas of elderflower, white peaches, lime peel and kiwi with touches of baker's yeast and alluring floral perfume. The palate is medium-bodied and flavorful, with notable concentration and freshness that will broaden its appeal at the table.
The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley jumps out the glass with pristine ripe tropical fruit including guava, fresh white flowers, and grapefruit pith. The palate is ripe with sweet pink grapefruit candy, light vanilla spice, and sweet peach.
Very much made in the fuller and riper style that has become the norm for this producer and, as always, favoring a touch of juicy sweetness over runaway acidity, the latest from Merry Edwards is a rich and fairly substantial offering that marries ample, melon- like fruit with more-subtle accents of fresh herbs and limes. It is open, intensely flavorful stuff that is eminently well-suited for mealtime pouring with similarly rich foods in the short term, yet, that said, it has the structure, the depth and the fruity stamina of a wine that will grow effortlessly for several more years, and it continues what is a long string of enthusiastically recommended successes from its maker.
Merry Edwards Winery was founded in 1997 and produces critically acclaimed terroir-driven Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blanc using site-specific viticulture in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Over two decades, Merry assembled a stellar collection of vineyards and with her meticulous attention to detail crafted Pinot Noirs of immense depth, elegant structure and exceptional longevity. Her Sauvignon Blanc is among the most sought after in the world.
Now a Certified California Sustainable Winery, the brand entered a new chapter after Merry’s retirement. Merry’s handpicked successor, Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden, and Winery President Nicole Carter have taken up exactly where Merry left off and will continue to make wines treasured by legions of Merry Edwards’ fans well into the future.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.