2010 Bedrock Sauvignon Blanc with petrol smell?

So I open a 2010 Bedrock Sauvignon Blanc yesterday and it has a very strong nose of petrol similar to Riesling with a few years of age on it. Was definitely the predominant element of the nose. Wine was definitely a bit muted, but certainly had some fruit, leaning towards the tropical end like guava. So has anyone experienced this in a Sauvignon Blanc before? Anyone know what would cause this? Would you consider it a flaw? kind of just curious what people think would be going on with this wine. thanks.

I had one of these last night but it didn’t show a nose like you mention. Perhaps a flaw?

I had this wine last November. I was struck by the aromatics & perfume of it and thought it resembled Riesling more than SauvBlanc; though I
didn’t get any petrol out of it. But that may have developed since then…who knows??
Is the wine flawed??? There are those that worship at the altar of varietal typicity…the wine must smell/taste like the variety. They
would regard this wine as flawed. There are those who worship at the altar of terroir…the wine must smell/taste like the vnyd it
came from. I could not identify KickRanch in this SauvBlanc…so they would regard this wine as flawed. And then there are those who
worship at the altar of “good wine”…the wine must smell/taste “good”. Those kind of tiny-minded people would regard this SauvBlanc
as great stuff.

Wasn’t really calling the wine out for being “different,” although I did get a lot of petrol and not much fruit as I would expect. And while I’ve certainly had plenty of Sauvignon Blanc based wines (Bedrock’s Cuvee Karitas being one my favorites), I’m not sure I would know what a Kick Ranch wine “should” taste like. I guess I was more curious if anyone else had a similar experience, and also wondered what might make this change occur from a chemical standpoint. Also since I know Morgan posts on this board pretty often, I thought he might offer some opinion as to whether this might fall in the expected range of results for this wine.

I thought the wine was somewhat atypical for Sonoma SauvBlanc…but…BFD…it was danged tasty wine.
As for being able to taste the “KickRanch terroir”… I have no clue what that should smell/taste like.

But Tom, haven’t you followed Kick Ranch ‘from the start’?!?!??!!?

Good points on the ‘atypicite’ of wines and that being okay. Do you know if there was any skin contact with this wine? Perhaps that led to some petrol notes?!?? Just guessing . . .


Does a bear…

Good points on the ‘atypicite’ of wines and that being okay. Do you know if there was any skin contact with this wine? Perhaps that led to some petrol notes?!?? Just guessing . . .


I don’t think this had any skin contact…or minimal, Larry.

we’ve been getting SB from Kick Ranch since 2008. in each vintage (especially in 2009, though not quite so pronounced in 2010) the petrol component is evident. we also barrel ferment (10% new French, remainder neutral) and don’t have the wine complete ML.

not sure which block Bedrock is pulling from, but we’re getting a fair amount of Sauvignon Musque (clone) from our space. while i’m not the winmaker, it’s possible this may contribute to the petrol aroma.

Paul ty. very informative. looking back at Morgan’s notes, it looks like the wine is predominantly musque, so maybe that does have something to do with it. here is his original note:

2010 Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc: The 2010 rendition of this wine, from the steep and rocky slopes of Kick Ranch, is dominated by the aromatic Musque-clone along with the more mineral, citrus-laden, clone 317. Like last year, the majority of the wine was barrel-fermented in once, twice, and thrice, used French oak barrels of very tight grain from Bordelaise coopers. In addition, roughly 7% of the wine was aged in a new Acacia barrel coopered for me by Tonnellerie Rousseau. Fermented using native yeasts in barrel and stirred on a bi-monthly basis for additional richness the wine was not allowed to undergo malolactic to ensure brightness of fruit and general vivacity. Thirteen barrels made. $22

Morgan makes great stuff, hope you enjoy it! [cheers.gif]

Just saw this thread and couldn’t help but chime in, even though a bit late. The petrol smell is attributed to terpenes which upon oxidation take on notes of petrol. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and other aromatic cultivars, and especially the Muscat family, have higher than average levels of terpenes, that reside in the skin of the grape. With these grape varieties in mind, the actual level of terpenes in the wine will be a function of grape maturity and juice treatment. Skin contact and addition of press fraction will increase terpene level.

As the wine is alleged to have been made without skin contact, the relatively high level of terpenes must have derived from ripe musque grapes ( which would have higher terpene levels than ripe non-musque Sauvignon Blanc ), plus perhaps the inclusion of some press wine.

I’ve noticed petrol notes in older Sauvignon musque wines, so I would be surprised to find it in a newly released wine. A low free SO2 at bottling might explain it.

Nice to see you on board here, Fred . . . and glad you jumped into this thread, as you DO know a thing or three about Sauv Blanc!


Welcome Fred. This board is so great to be able to get feedback from great wine makers.

I’ve only had the 2011 and no petrol. I wouldn’t say it was Riesling-like either. Just curious, Brian, do you pump your own gas, and when was the last time you filled up?

I’ve tasted “terpentine” in a number of wines, but red. Must be the terpenes?

I just assumed it was a by product of the oak treatment… Could it be just skin or both? Maybe just related flavor/aromas.

Comments appreciated.

Thanks Larry and thanks Leonard! SBs are always of interest to me.

Brian, you could get aromatics in the petrol camp from the oak from terpenes, but the primary source would be the grape. The chemistry of terpenes and their contribution to wine aromas is quite complex, to say the least.

Interesting thread.

Welcome, Fred! Does Manfred still buy Sémillon from you or did that stop with the end of the Mr. K program?

Thanks, Ken.

Manfred stopped buying our Semillon with his last Mr K made from Semillon, the 2004 which scored RP 100. He continued the Mr K program for two more years using Marsanne, from Beckmen, until Kracher passed away.

This is a very interesting thread. I must say that I have had many bottles of the 2010 Kick SB and none of them have had anything that I attribute to the classic “petrol” aromatic I typically associate with older aromatic varieties (e.g. high terpene varietals), in particularly riesling.

I am the first to pick out of Kick Ranch on a yearly basis (typically 22-23 brix) and the 2010 saw no skin-contact. It was fermented in a combination of older barrels and a little new wood so there was some oxygen in its upbringing but I am pretty religious about keeping my molecular so2’s at a healthy level. I would suggest that whatever you are smelling might be a storage or closure issue. I’d be happy to send you out a bottle to compare!

I drank my Bedrock 2010 SB earlier today. No petrol for me on this bottle. Editorial comment… it was delicious with brunch (breakfast foods).