The key to many Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre, Pouilly Fume) lies in the limestone that's scattered among the land: in these pebbles Sauvignon Blanc finds its minerality and brightness. It's a quality that often eludes domestic Sauvignon Blanc producers due to the paucity of limestone found in the West Coast vineyard landscape.
Purisima Mountain's limestone subsoil is one of the reasons why Tom and Steve Beckmen leaped at the opportunity to buy this 365-acre parcel in the mid-1990s. The mountain's soil types also include clay and clay loam, but as the vines climb Purisima Mountain from 750 to 1,250 feet, the sandy soil gives way to a moonscape of fractured limestone pieces. Vine roots must struggle in the thin topsoil, generally 12-36 inches in depth, and the result is a less vigorous growing condition that produces smaller vines with low yields of intensely flavored fruit.
The grapes on Purisima Mountain also benefit from the marine air that is drawn up from the Pacific Ocean through the Santa Ynez Valley and which brings morning fog and cooling ocean breezes in the summer afternoons. With late sunsets (courtesy of Purisima's high elevation), Purisima's microclimate ensures a long, steady ripening period and, ultimately, superior grapes.
The 2005 Beckmen Estate Sauvignon Blanc is made exclusively with grapes from the Purisima Mountain Vineyard. Due to a long, cool growing season, 2005 produced Sauvignon Blanc grapes with profound flavors and great acid structure. The resulting wine sings of its landscape--lemon and lime, juniper berries, and an almost "wet stone" backbone that makes this Sauvignon Blanc both complex and refreshing. And $14? A steal considering the source! Delicious and quaffable. Drink now.