The story begins in England in 1896 and is detailed out on the website https://ledson.com/discover-ledson/history/ . It is a tale of hard work, family ties and a desire to do more for the community. Steve Ledson’s history is both unique and common—unique with background and successful venture and common with family ties. His demeanor and casual manner bespeaks volumes.
A couple of years ago, I had a friend come down from Oregon and had Assistant Winemaker Jerry Padilla conduct the private tasting. On the way out, Steve walked in with jeans and tee shirt having worked some aspect of the vineyard only to greet us, genuinely happy that our tasting went well. The Castle is the official tasting room of Ledson and the architecture and construction alone are worth the visit! Ledson Winery is offers the largest premium wine portfolio of any family owned winery in the United States. Today their offering numbers more than 70 wines annually!
2016 Ledson Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley and 2016 Ledson Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River
This side by side tasting revealed some unique traits by each and each Gold Medal award winners. Both were extremely delicious. The 2016 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc won the 2017 International Women’s Wine Competition. This was also on my list for the 2015 Best Wines of Year from the same vineyard. The 2017 is well structured and layered. Grapefruit and lemon custard are the predominate aromas on the nose and gives way to pineapple and tangerine hints. This is the ideal summer wine in a warm to hot region. The Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is $36.
2016 Ledson Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River won the 2018 Gold Medal from the Critic’s Challenge. This wine had a similar taste profile without the strong grapefruit hit on the nose and more subtle aroma’s and tastes of kiwi, orange peel and kiwi. In the winemakers’ notes, they state “gooseberry” but that eluded my taste buds. Price is $34.
The winner for me, as has been since 2015, is the 2016 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Several bottles are now resting in the cellar!!
2015 Ledson Chardonnay, Russian River Valley Reserve
This wine was smooth and delicious and tied for the highest marks of the day! It new world in taste without being “over the top” in butter and/or cream. The color is a light golden with a soft lemon custard, vanilla and rounded medium hint of oak and crème brulee. These grapes come from a “well known” vineyard in the Russian River. This too ended up in the cellar! Only 75 cases produced and price is $52.
Michael Kelly, https://californiawinesandwineries.com