2007 Kelley & Young Wines Sauvignon Blanc

Mission Codename: Young at heart

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate Kelley & Young Winery, and secure an ample quantity of their Gold Medal 2007 Suavignon Blanc

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Kelley & Young Winery

Wine Subject: 2007 Sauvignon Blanc – Robert Young Vineyard

Winemaker: Jim Young


Sauvignon Blanc, grown all over the world, is most notably known for its great wines from Sancerre in the Loire Valley, France and Marlborough in New Zealand. California premium Sauvignon Blanc has, as a result of better wine making and using only the best harvested fruit, has improved dramatically from many of the lackluster wines that are mass-produced and mass retail marketed. Spend the time to find the better Sauvignon Blancs and you won’t be disappointed.

The fruit for today’s wine comes from the world-famous Robert Young Vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. The Wine Spies first became fans of Robert Young wines nearly two years ago. When our field agents fed us early intel that Jim Young, CEO of Robert Young Winery, was crafting his own wines from family fruit, we dispatched Agent Red to investigate immediately. Read his tasting notes and mission report below

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Golden yellow, with perfect clarity, glinting edges and a slow and bouncy surface that, when swirled, leaves behind chubby legs that take a long time to emerge

Smell – Medium intensity, leading off with citrus, melon and flinty tropical fruit and apricot

Feel -Round and creamy-velvety smooth on entry, then the wine shows off as its medium body appears, gripping gently as soft tannins take hold at the edges of the palate

Taste – Flavors of grapefruit, soft lime, natural lemon curd and a hint Granny Smith apples, along with a slight mineral component

Finish – Medium long with with great flavor complexity that lingers with its tart fruit flavors

Conclusion – A brilliant Sauvignon Blanc that has character, an amazing mouthfeel and a delicious wallop of great flavors and aromas! Delicious and easy to drink, but not boring (like so many lesser Sauvignon Blancs we have rejected), this wine pleased all of us and thrilled us beyond our expectations. I guess that I should not have been surprised, given the pedigree of the winemaker and the vineyard. Extra covert kudos to Jim Young and his wife, Kelley, who have met their goal of crafting wines that coax the very best out of the terroir of their Alexander Valley Vineyards. This soft yet slightly crisp wine is the perfect afternoon sipper, or a food friendly companion. On sipping this wine during our blind tasting, Agent Sparkle declared it, “So very drinkable!”. She was spot on with that comment. I don’t like very many SB’s, but I love this wine. Decant for a few minutes for best results, and for an added experience, enjoy this wine right out of the chiller and again at room temperature. As the wine warmed slightly, additional aromas and flavors leaped out at me.

Mission Report:

With today’s mission, I feel as though I have come full circle. I feel satisfied and complete. Sure, that has something to do with today’s amazing Sauvignon Blanc – but my feelings go way deeper than that.

It all started when I was a junior Operative. And when I say junior I mean completely and utterly green.

The winery was Robert Young Vineyards, my target wine was their fabled Scion. It was my very first mission. Ever – and I while I was nervous at first, I quickly became comfortable.

After what was a rather protracted surveillance and two undercover missions to the winery (in disguise), I was ready for my first formal infiltration.

I moved in, perhaps a little too aggressively, on the winery’s director of sales. We had a great meeting and in less than 15 minutes I had negotiated a sizable allocation for our Operatives.

I left the winery filled with confidence and exuberance. I called HQ to report in and Agent White congratulated me. Boy were those the days.

We scheduled a showing of the wine and send out a dispatch to our early-in Operatives, giving them a preview alert about this great wine to come. And that’s when the call came in. The winery, bless them for this, had run out of the wine. The showing was off!

The highs and lows experienced that week were exquisite. And, thank goodness, never replicated since.

I did experience a wonderful high recently when my phone rang and there, on the other end, was Kathleen Kelley Young of Kelley! Just a few days before, the W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) had issued an alert about this very same winery. It was a short message alert, a Beta-level alert which was important, but I was backlogged with plenty of Alpha tasks.

It was after speaking with Kathleen for a while that I made the connections in my mind… Young… Of course! Jim Young… Yes! Her husband, the Young in the name Kelley & Young, is that Jim Young! Right, from Robert Young!

So, I told Kathleen my story and then she told me hers. Hers is actually far more heartwarming than my own. Certainly, I am passionate about wine. Kathleen and Jim’s passion? Well, that goes way beyond.

For this couple, wine is life and romance and more. It is an enhancement and a vessel for love. Before you accuse me of over romanticizing, you must to at least one of the following: 1) Taste today’s awesome wine, and 2) Spend just a few minutes with Kathleen. Her zeal for finding the soul of the vineyard is both relentless and pure. Her attachment to the land and love of the vineyards are visceral.

With regard to the wine, well, one sip was all I needed to know for certain that this was the finest Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted. Coming from me, a spy that is incredibly hard to please with many white wines, that is the highest praise.

Kathleen and Jim have made this wine from the finest fruit available in the Alexander Valley – or elsewhere for that matter. Their dedication to the vineyards, first, and the winemaking second, shines through in each tender sip.

When I asked Kathleen who Jim makes the wine for, without a moment of hesitation and with a flashing grin on her face, she answered, “He makes the wine for me!” Knowing what I do about Kathleen, I know that she is so deeply into wine that Jim had his work cut out for him. And, guess what? He absolutely nailed it with their 2007 Kelley & Young Sauvignon Blanc!

Today’s wine is special to me in so many ways, but primarily because it is so great.

Cheers to coming full circle. Cheers to Kathleen and Jim for bringing today’s great wine into the world.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of Robert Young Estate Vineyard, where today’s incredible wine was born, can be seen in this satellite photo.

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