After tasting Shinn Estate Vineyards‘ sauvignon blanc-based wines for several vintages now, it is clear that vineyard manager and co-owner Barbara Shinn has a way with the grape and that her piece of land is well suited to the variety.
First Fruit, the winery’s steel-fermented sauvignon blanc is a perennial favorite — crunchy with acidity, citrusy, herb-y and faintly saline. Their Haven bottling is a completely different wine, and not just because it has some semillon blended in. The juice that becomes Haven spends extended time on the skins before being fermented by ambient yeasts in French oak. The result is a texturally alluring wine that bears little resemblance to its steel-fermented sister.
A bit of that French oak is noticeable on the nose, but it’s mostly in the background behind aromas of fresh and dried apricot, fig, golden raisin, nuts and a Fino-like salinity.
Dried fruits — golden raisin, fig and apriot — dominate the mouth-filling, rich-but-balanced palate. The fruit intensity is balanced nicely by a vein of fresh acidity and subtle skin tannins. The finish is dry, clean and lightly saline-minerally.
(4 out of 5, Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)