2018 Chablis

2018 Chablis
2018 Chablis

Snake River Valley

Tasting notes


This wine marries both French influence and the Snake River Valley into a vintage unlike any we’ve ever bottled. With the color of a sunrise over the Boise foothills captured in a glass, this vintage invites you in with a nose of sweet pea and squash blossom, and tropical saltwater taffy. Delicate acidity balances with gentle viscosity and soft mineralogy on the palate. Partial malolactic fermentation lends this stainless steel-aged Chardonnay the slightest hint of creaminess, allowing a ghee-like texture to fill out the mouth and carry each sip across your taste buds to a light but lingering finish.

Production notes

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Rizza.


Rizza is Idaho’s first sparkling wine made in the method of Champagne. In other words, the glorious, precious, and delicate bubbles inside this bottle were created by a natural fermentation that occurred in this very bottle! 


This wine is made exclusively from the Riesling grape, a dear love of mine and an absolute treasure of Idaho. The Australians have great respect for this grape and lovingly call it Rizza. I instantly adored this endearing nickname and adopted it for my bubbles.  


These grapes were picked September 15th and fermented to dryness. The base wine was then sweetened and put to bottle on October 19th. 4,000 bottles of sweetened base wine—each one hand-bottled, individually dosed with yeast, and capped by hand!


Next, we waited patiently for all 4,000 bottles to ferment to dryness. This took 7 weeks and the final phase of making this wine occurred at the beginning of December. Remember, this bottle had yeast in it.  Their work was done and the bottle was filled with tiny bubbles.  Now, we had to get the yeast out—one bottle at a time— all by hand. My hands are still numb!


I have put it all out there on this wine. It is my personal love letter to Riesling. I hope you enjoy it in good company and good health!

Sawtooth Vineyard - 70 Acres
This estate-vineyard for Sawtooth Winery is one of the warmer sites in Idaho. This site is well-suited for Cabernet Sauvignon compared to "cooler" sites in Idaho. Other varietals planted at Sawtooth Vineyard include Cabernet Franc, Roussannne, Pinot Gris, Syrah, and Merlot. Unique volcanic ash soils, typical blazing heat in July and August, and elevation of more than 2,700 feet contribute to a set of growing conditions like no other in the state. At Sawtooth, because of its slope and a variety of aspects, you'll find Rhone varieties, big Spanish reds like Tempranillo, and Chardonnay all thriving together.
Sawtooth is also host to USDA-ARS long-term study blocks of lesser-known cultivars (Gruner and Graciano are eye-openers!) and special trellising experiments for Riesling. Although there are elements at the top of the hill reminiscent of The Mosel and Mendoza, Sawtooth and the Snake River Valley AVA are making stunning wines from this dirt that are uniquely Idaho. As more about this wine region unfolds with science, we are privileged to witness it firsthand.
Skyline Vineyard - 400 Acres
One of the most significant plantings of wine grapes in Idaho, Skyline Vineyard lends itself to many different varietals. With south, west, north and east facing slopes, the micro-climate differs greatly at the site, allowing for a wide selection of varietals to be planted. The south and west facing slopes are the warmer areas of the vineyard, better suited for vinifera grapes which thrive on the long, hot days of the Idaho summers, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Whereas the east and north facing slopes are ideal for varieties requiring more vigor and cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling (Sawtooth's 2011 Riesling was named in Wine & Spirits US Best Riesling, 2012).
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