She's been ballyhooed as part of "California's New New Guard" by America's most prominent wine writer, Jon Bonné. She's been celebrated by the SF Chronicle as a "Winemaker to Watch." She's even garnered attention across the pond, when Britain's (Europe's?) most prominent wine critic, Jancis Robinson, shouted out both her Semillon and its exceptional ageability.
How can it possibly be, then, that Erin Pooley remains this nigh-criminally unknown here in California? It starts with Semillon, at once both one of the world's most compelling grapes... and one of its most underappreciated. In a country that sometimes figures Chard and Sauv Blanc for the Alpha and Omega of white grapes, Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that it took a Sydney, Australia native to elevate it to world-class status, as the Semillon of Australia's Hunter Valley is one of the most sought-after categories of white wines in elite collectors' cellars around the world.
Erin's path was a long one: after earning her degree in Wine Science in Australia she first came to California in 2007 with a dream and a J-1 visa. She spent several vintages on the cellar floor at Napa’s iconic Larkmead Cellars, and worked by night captaining the Michelin-starred Meadowood Restaurant. When she then parlayed her hard-earned income into her very first ton of fruit? Naturally she chose the best Semillon she could find in all the state. And thus Little Frances (Erin's middle name) was born.
Her 2017 may be one of Erin's most interesting and compelling releases we've tasted to date. Complex way beyond its price tag, you can expect a mix of bright Meyer lemon pith, lime leaf, unripe stone fruit, and summer straw on the textured palate, as well as a sapid and salivating finish that goes on and on. (This pairs with virtually everything you can throw at it, but if you're feeling especially foody-frisky, think scallops in a chili-lime butter.)