“Don’t screw it up.”
This is the mantra John Grochau, owner and winemaker at Grochau Cellars, recited without hesitation when asked what his philosophy on winemaking is. Meeting John you get the sense that he’s confident in what he’s doing, but modest enough to avoid showing any ego.
During my visit I also sampled two vintages of GC Sauvignon Blanc, showcasing two completely different styles. While John will discontinue the Sauvignon Blanc in 2009, the next vintage will feature a Pinot Blanc.
These are both very good examples of Pacific Northwest Sauvignon Blanc. They also very strongly reflect John’s desire to make the vineyard an important part of the process, regarding the wine making more so as a coaching job. They are clean, well balanced, have beautiful acidity, and would both pair well with food.
Grochau Cellars 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
Vinified in stainless steel (80%) and neutral oak (20%). Clear, bright, medium-light gold color. Clean nose with medium intensity aromatics of dry grass, ripe tropical fruit, stone, and white flowers. Dry on the palate with medium-high acidity, medium-full body, and flavors of grapefruit, lime zest, tart stone fruit, and herbs. Long finish. ($18 at winery)
Grochau Cellars 2009 Sauvignon Blanc
Vinified in stainless steel (70%) and neutral oak (30%). Clear, bright, medium golden yellow color. Clean nose with medium intensity aromatics of peach, orange, sweet floral, and cream. Dry on the palate with medium acidity, medium-full body, and flavors of peach, pear, candied lime, orange, and honey. Medium finish. ($18 at winery)
Visit PortlandOregonWine.com to continue reading about my visit to Grochau Cellars, and for tasting notes of their current Pinot Noirs and red blends.