Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Gamble Vineyard, Yountville, Napa Valley 2021

Pale yellow color; peach, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, honeysuckle on the nose; white peach, lime, grapefruit, mango, Meyer lemon, honey hint, minerality on the palate.

Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Gamble Vineyard, Yountville, Napa Valley 2021

Dry; nice acidity throughout (3.25 pH). Pure sauv blanc play. Smooth with pleasurable creaminess. Distinctly a Napa sauv blanc—much rounder and effortlessly approachable than New Zealand efforts. Made with specific clones. Sauvignon Musque (29%), Clone 316 (28%), Preston Clone (24%) and Clone 530 (19%), all from Gamble Vineyard in Yountville, Napa Valley. The clonal blend differs vintage-to-vintage. Finished in mostly older French oak barrels (70% total, 17% new) for six months; the remaining 30% juice finished in temperature-controlled stainless steel on the lees for six months.

Complex with lengthy interplay of complementary flavors. More depth and intriguing layers than you expect from a sauv blanc even at this elevated price point. Medium body. 13.4% ABV

Gamble Family winery

Third-generation farmer Tom Gamble founded the winery in 2005. Gamble Family Vineyards farms around 175 acres of prime blocks in several of Napa Valley’s top AVAs—Oakville, Yountville, Mr. Veeder, and Rutherford. The winery is hidden away in a nook off of Highway 29 in Oakville. The website notes: “Tom Gamble’s mission is to carry on the heritage of quality farming that his ancestors sowed when they came to Napa as farmers and ranchers in 1916.”

Remains of Launcelot Gamble’s cattle herd still on Gamble property

The 1916 operation focused on cattle ranching more than farming. Launcelot Gamble—the founding patriarch—obtained land in Oakville in 1955. The acquisition later became the Family Home Vineyard and began the family’s adventure in wine, although they produced grapes, not wine. Launcelot’s two sons, Launce and George (Tom’s father) began taking over operations at that time.

The website notes: “In the early 1970s, the family entered into a long-term lease with Beringer Vineyards, which planted the land surrounding Family Home to grapes. Having already turned his focus to grape growing with the purchase of several vineyard sites in the 1980s and 1990s, Tom took over the task of farming Family Home, which was originally planted by his mother and stepfather in 1997.”

Tom Gamble

In 1981, at age 20, Tom purchased his first vineyard with aid of some partners. The Gambles were now into the wine business rather than grape farming. Jim Close joined the Gamble team as winemaker in 2003. Close began his career in the southern Languedoc region of France and has made every bottle of Gamble Family Vineyards since 2005. Gamble expanded into land in Oakville in 2008 and began building today’s winery there in 2012. Designed by Tom’s brother-in-law, Morgan Conolly, the winery opened in 2013.

Gamble winemaker Jim Close

With roots deeper than a century, the Gambles respect the land. Winery and vineyards are certified Napa Green and certified Fish Friendly Farming. Tom advocates sustainable farming because he believes it delivers the best return on his land investment. He also thinks it makes for better wine, and this effort is a nice bullet point in that conversation.

Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Gamble Vineyard, Yountville, Napa Valley 2021 delivers depth and complexity, delightful mouthfeel, tasty, ripe fruit. This is consistent vintage over vintage and consistently excellent. Easy drinking, food-friendly. Pair with shellfish; salmon sashimi; lighter foods; vegetarian fare; exotic cuisine—sauv blanc can pair with almost any lighter food, including spicy offerings. Cheese—goat cheese is the classic cheese pairing, also sheep’s milk; goat milk cheddar, gouda, havarti, monterey jack, muenster, parmesan, swiss. $32-35

Gamble Family Vineyards website

Gamble Family vineyard
Gamble winemaking team
Gamble Family vines