Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Producer: Barnard Griffin
Region: Washington
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA
Classification: AVA
Wine Type: White
Variety: 94% Sauvignon Blanc, 6% Semillion
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12.8%
Residual Sugar: Trace
Soil: Volcanic, sandy loam, loess
Farming Practices: Sustainable Farming
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Cellar Profile

In 1983, with a small truckload of borrowed fruit and a rented cellar, Rob Griffin and his wife Deborah Barnard established Barnard Griffin Winery. Since that time, it has become one of Washington’s most enduring and award-winning wineries. Nearly half of the wine produced comes from their estate vineyard, Caroway, while the remaining fruit is sourced from some of the best vineyards in Washington State. Since inception, Barnard Griffin has cultivated strong partnerships with vineyards and viticulturists throughout the Columbia Valley. These wines are distinctly Washington, with ample weight and expressive fruit, framed beautifully with elegant structure and terrific length.


Columbia Valley was granted AVA status in 1984. Located on the eastern side of Washington, it is the largest AVA in the state, responsible for 99% of total wine production. With its dessert-like conditions (average annual rainfall is only 6-8 inches per year), irrigation is a necessity. The Columbia River, as well as snowmelt from the Cascade Mountains, supplies the region’s water for agriculture. Washington has an interesting dynamic between winemakers and grape growers in that they are often exclusively ‘Makers’ or ‘Growers’. Today, nearly 50% of Barnard Griffin’s fruit is grown on the estate.


The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of 3 vineyards: Sagemoor Vineyard (Columbia Valley); Gunkel Vineyard (Columbia Valley, Eastern Columbia River Gorge); and Caroway Vineyard (Columbia Valley). Barnard Griffin purchases grapes from growers using sustainable farming practices which is the norm throughout Washington. Despite all the natural benefits in Washington State, very few vineyards are organic and even fewer are biodynamic.


Sauvignon Blanc originates from the Bordeaux region of France. Depending on the climate, the flavour can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. In cooler climates, the grape has a tendency to produce wines with noticeable acidity and green flavours of grass, green bell peppers and nettles, with some tropical fruit such as passion fruit and floral notes such as elderflower. In warmer climates, it can develop a more tropical fruit profile but risks losing its aromatics from overripeness, leaving only slight hints of grapefruit and peach.


Cool fermented in stainless steel to retain fruit intensity.

Tasting Notes 

The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc delivers textbook Sauvignon Blanc aromas of green herbs and tropical fruit. The palate shows characteristics of pear and melon with a pleasant streak of honey and orange zest. Racy acidity and an underlying minerality add balance and complexity.