Winemaker Doug Margerum – best known for his eponymous Santa Barbara County label, Margerum Wine Company – started Riviera Wine Company in 2020 to produce good-value wine. He’s definitely delivered with this sauvignon blanc, made from grapes grown in the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara appellation.
Happy Canyon is the farthest inland of Santa Barbara County’s growing areas, so it’s significantly warmer. Rather than the pinot noir that Santa Barbara is so well-known for, varieties like merlot, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc are the stars.
The 2022 Riviera Sauvignon Blanc offers lively flavors of citrus, melon and lemon grass. It has a lovely texture that’s almost creamy, wrapped around a firm core of acidity. The suggested retail price is $24, but I’ve seen it sold for less.
As a side note, I’ve enjoyed all the Riviera wines I’ve tried, particularly the Mélange Blanc, a Rhône-style white blend.