Sawbuck comes to us from our friends at Matchbook WInes, John and Lane Giguiere. We have been following their wine journey for over 30 years, since their days at R.H. Phillips, when they had one of the top-10 wine brands in the country.
After selling R.H. Phillips in 2000, they founded Matchbook Wines. The name came from a habit John had, as a young boy, of lighting matchbooks. Fortunately, his parents steered him onto a different path, or we may not have been able to present this wine.
The grapes for this luscious selection were grown primarily (92%) on the Matchbook estate in Dunnigan Hills, which is about 50 miles northwest of Sacramento. The vineyard is very rocky and the climate relatively mild. The remaining 8% of the grapes were grown in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma.
This is a very interesting wine in that, although it's all Chardonnay, it is three different clones of the grape. Each adds its own attributes. The Robert Young clone and the Wente clone were developed by those vineyards. The Dijon clone comes from Burgundy, where it graces many of the finest Chardonnays on the planet.
Half the wine was fermented in French oak barrels for 10 months and periodically stirred to allow the tiny bits of stem and seed to mingle with the wine. This process gives the wine added richness and a creamy texture. The flavors are generous without being overpowering, and the mingling of ginger spice, apple and pear is absolute heaven.