Wine Of The Week: Gamble Family Heart Block

Savor this Old World white from the heart of Napa Valley.

(Credit: Gamble Family Vineyard)

While the name of this bottle from Gamble Family Vineyards may tug at your heartstrings, it’s a nod to a very real reference for the winemakers. The block of Sauvignon Blanc grapes used to make Heart Block is situated right in the middle of the vineyard, a plot that proprietor Tom Gamble estimates is the exact center of California’s Napa Valley. 

In the valley, Sauvignon Blanc was considered a throwaway grape for years — second fiddle to the Cabernets and Chardonnays of the region. But the Gamble’s bet on the grape, pulling inspiration from Bordeaux to make a complex but refreshing wine.

It still has a flinty minerality with a kick of green apple and grapefruit, but with round notes of almond and Challah. How does Gamble Family Vineyards give their Sauvignon Blanc such an old school lean? Their clones (meaning, the home vineyard the vine roots came from) came from two different locations: Loire and Bordeaux. Because of that old world lean, expect these whites (and reds) from Gamble to age beautifully. $95

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.