Castle Rock has an interesting business model:
Castle Rock buys grapes from approximately 40 grape growers, all renowned for their expertise and consistency… After the harvest, the wines are made in accordance with Castle Rock’s winemaking standards, and are bottled at wineries, boasting state-of-the-art equipment, located in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and Washington’s Columbia Valley.
Owners Greg Popovich and Chris Noble found a way to make wine without buying either vineyards or wineries. They simply buy the grapes, and purchase the services of other wineries to produce the wine under the direction of Castle Rock’s winemaker Eric Laumann. The grapes for the Sauv Blanc came from Mendocino County, known for Roederer, Mariah, and other excellent producers. Our bottle was made at a winery in Geyserville (each bottle records its place of production).
All this makes for a less expensive (though not dirt-cheap) wine. The bottle of Sauvignon Blanc was $15.00. But… is it any good? Yes! I liked it very much. My notes record a nose of banana and coconut while the wine was still quite cold. In the mouth it was light-bodied, with the bready, yeasty flavor I usually associate with Champagne. It leans slightly toward the sweet side, but the sweetness is well-balanced with acid. And the finish is delightfully long.
It would be interesting to taste the Sauvignon Blancs made at different Castle Rock wineries in the same year, to see if the differences are notable. In the meantime, I can recommend this one as an unusual but tasty California SB.