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Desparada 'Fragment' Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast, CA 2023

  • $33.00

Ready to ship  -  5 left

  • Winemaker: Valia Esh
  • Farming: SIP Certified Sustainable
  • Varieties: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • Terroir: Vineyard selection 58% McGinley, 23% Oliver's, 19% Morett
  • Vinification: Harvested between Septmeber and October 2023. Fermented with native yeast and aged sur lie in a mix of concrete, amphora, French oak cigares and neutral barrels.
  • Alcohol: 11.4% 
  • Tasting Notes: Melon ball, prickly pear agua fresca, ginger, tropical, limestone.
  • Production: 439 Cases
  • Scores: 92 The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Fragment is scented of green fruits, cut grass and crushed stone, and the palate is bright and zippy with pleasantly herbal fruits and a bit of texture lengthening the finish.

From our 2024 Explore Like A Somm Bottle Cult:

Desparada Fragment Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast, California 2023⁠
Vailia Esh is not your typical winemaker: a California native, Vailia was raised around the country as an army brat and straight-A student. From a young age, she chose to live life on the open road to soak up the experiences of life. It was on this grand journey that she was drawn to the vineyards of the Central Coast and started Desparada almost as a grand experiment. Ultimately, she has proven herself a deft winemaker, worked at wineries and vineyards all over the world, and became a true student of viticulture and oenology.
It’s so important to Vailia not to become complacent or follow a formulaic dogma when producing her wines. At its pinnacle, her winemaking is about respect for the fruit the vintage gives her. After that, she becomes more experimental, sometimes fermenting grapes from a single pick in 5 or 6 different vessels just to see what will happen. In the end, she might blend, or she might not, but what’s important to her is capturing something new from the place and site. It’s truly a daring and unusual approach in an area known for expensive land and (very often) cookie-cutter wines. Hence the name, “Desparada,” which in Spanish is the feminine iteration of ‘outlaw,’ reflecting how Vailia feels she has approached her winemaking.
The Fragment Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from four sunny vineyards, with two-thirds of the fruit coming from Santa Barbara County’s McGinley and Presqu’ile vineyards, and the rest from Moretti Canyon and Oliver’s Vineyard in Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo County. The varied terroirs have something in common: cool winds and fog rolling in from the Pacific Ocean, which keep acidities high and maturation slow. Vailia ferments the picks in five different vessels (stainless steel, concrete, once-used French Oak, completely neutral French Oak, and large Acacia barrels). These different expressions are then blended together and aged for 6 months sur lie (on its yeast sediment) to create a round, lush mouthfeel which balances the high-toned and crispy cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc. It is a vibrant mélange of ruby red grapefruit, starfruit, and papaya, with a light breeze of lemongrass and Thai basil. The wine is begging to be enjoyed with green curry and eggplant, fish and chips, or a mezze plate.
Finally, let’s talk about the gorgeous label. Each label in Desparada’s lineup focuses on blending feminine and masculine auras to underscore the idea of nonconformity and juxtaposition in her wines. She and her cellar staff together taste the wine each vintage and draw and doodle over historic art pieces as the wine inspires them. We encourage you to pay her a visit in Paso Robles’ Tin City because each bottle is a work of art in its own right, inside and out!— Cara Patricia, June 2024