Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Pale straw color; pear, honeydew melon, lemon, orange zest on the nose; pear, lemon-lime, grapefruit, tropical fruit—pineapple, lychee, white peach, ginger on the palate.

Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Dry; crisp without being sharp; 100% sauv blanc (76% Sonoma County, 24% Napa County). No tannins; no noticeable oak influence (87% finished in stainless steel, 10% neutral French oak, 3% in concrete eggs. Stainless steel preserves sauv blanc fruit, concrete gives this rounder, pleasing texture. 14.2% ABV

Dry and hot at the beginning of the year turned into spring rains and milder temperatures. Long, consistent ripening followed. Sustainable farming throughout, with aerial photos and technology allowing customized attention to each block. Harvest at night to preserve natural acidity. Grapes whole-cluster pressed while fruit was still cool.

Koerner Rombauer

Koerner Rombauer enjoyed a nearly 30-year career as a pilot with the California Air National Guard and as a commercial pilot. Although Koerner and Joan Ransome attended the same high school in Escondido, California, they did not date until they meet after college. In 1959, they married.

Seeking a small-town, agricultural life, the Rombauers moved to Napa Valley in 1972. They first rented property on Highway 29, then purchased a home atop a knoll on 40 acres in St. Helena in 1974. They got into the wine business as partners in the Conn Creek Winery in 1976, then sold their Conn Creek interest to start their own winery in 1980.

Joan and Koerner Rombauer

Wanting more experience, Joan joined the sales team at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in 1981. She became national sales director. The inaugural wines for Rombauer Vineyards were bottled at Stag’s Leap in 1982. Later, the Rombauers built a winery larger than their needs to serve as their winery and a custom-crush facility for up-and-coming wineries: Dominus, Duckhorn, Merryvale, Etude, Spottswoode, and other elite makers today.

Rombauer wines won accolades from the beginning. Although their first emphasis was cabernet sauvignon, in 1995 their Carneros chardonnay ranked as No. 32 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines list. They now are known as much for their chardonnays as their cabs. In January 2019, they purchased the former Renwood Winery, in part to increase their focus on zinfandel and other red wines. Sauvignon blanc joined the lineup in 2014.

Rombauer vineyard
Rombauer vineyard
Rombauer vineyard

Joan was lost pancreatic cancer in 2002. The family established endowments to support the University of California–San Francisco’s pancreatic research efforts and the Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services. Richie Allen joined the Rombauer team in 2008, rose through the ranks, and is head winemaker today. In 2015, Rombauer Vineyards celebrated its 35th anniversary as a family-owned winery, operated by Koerner and his children, KR and Sheana. In 2016, Reagan Rombauer Blackwood became the third generation to join the team. In 2018, Koerner passed at age 83. Richie Allen is the vice president of viticulture and winemaking.

Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2022 is fresh, round, clean, vibrant. Salad-in-a-glass without sharp tartness of New Zealand efforts. Impressive focus through lively finish. Fun, food-friendly drinker. Excellent exemplar of quality California sauvignon blanc. Pair with shellfish; freshwater fish and seafood; fried fish tacos; pasta salad; summer salads; vegetarian fare. Cheese—goat cheese is the classic cheese pairing, also sheep’s milk; goat milk cheddar, gouda, havarti, monterey jack, muenster, parmesan, swiss. $28-29

Rombauer website, explore the several charming videos

Rombauer barrel aging
Rombauer fermentation tanks
Reagan Rombauer Blackwood
Rombauer VP Richie Allen