Review: 2016 Sidebar Sauvignon Blancs

Sidebar Cellars is the brainchild of David Ramey (of Ramey Wine Cellars fame), launched in 2014 with the goal of “exploring diverse grape varieties grown beyond conventional AVAs. The Sidebar portfolio includes Kerner, Rosé, Zinfandel, and two Sauvignon Blancs. Grapes are sourced from special vineyards located in the Russian River Valley, the High Valley AVA in Lake County, and the Mokelumne River AVA in Lodi.”

Today we dig into Sidebar’s two sauvignon blanc wines, both very different in style.

2016 Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard – Sur lies aged for eight months in 89% concrete egg and 11% neutral oak. Initially quite fruity with a citrus/tropical character, the wine settles into a quieter groove that shows some light sandalwood notes, white flowers, and a creamy nuttiness on the finish. A lot of that is atypical of sauvignon blanc, finishing with notes of coconut and (more typical) lemon. B+ / $34

2016 Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc High Valley Sur lies aged for eight months in 51% neutral oak and 49% stainless steel barrels. This Lake County sauvignon blanc is differently styled, kicking off with a surprisingly buttery note that segues into notes of lemon and grapefruit, becoming crisp on the finish. Some tropical notes of pineapple and coconut linger on the back end, but otherwise the wine is on the mild side. B+ / $22

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