Captures the flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in the Rutherford AVA, in the center of Napa Valley. We aged the wine sur lie (on the yeast lees) for creamy nuances and texture. Semillon, for melon notes and a silky mouthfeel, completed the blend.
Barrel Aging: 5 Months, 67% Stainless Steel Tanks, 28% Stainless Steel Barrels, 5% New French Oak Barrels
Varietal Composition: 87% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Semillon
Our 2008 Sauvignon Blanc offers vibrant lemon-lime, floral and papaya nectar aromas. Hints of lemongrass, gooseberry and minerals—the signature of this grape varietal—add complexity. The flavors echo the aromas, while picking up lychee, melon and ginger spice. Beautifully balanced, this wine combines bright acidity with a creamy texture. Lemon custard nuances mingle in the fruit-intense finish.
The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes were hand harvested into half-ton bins in the cool early mornings. We selected grapes from both our Provenance estate vineyard and a nearby Rutherford vineyard, close to the Napa River, with similar soil types and complementary flavors. Our 12-acre estate vineyard, located in the geographic heart of Napa Valley, has Maxwell Series clay loam soils. This west-side vineyard was planted in 2003 with close spacing and was trained with vertical shoot positioning for optimum sun exposure on the fruit. The Sauvignon Blanc vines are grafted to clone 1 for balanced acidity and rich flavor. Each block is picked and fermented separately to increase complexity.
In 2008, we began harvesting Sauvignon Blanc on August 14. We are excited about the similar high quality of this vintage. We walked each vineyard (well, Tom—the bicycle enthusiast—pedaled them), and tasted the grapes until they reached their peak flavor development. Harvest started smoothly, but a heat spike at the beginning of September accelerated ripening. Thus, for the last few days we picked at a furious pace before sugars got too high. We finished on September 3.
Winemakers Chris Cooney and Tom Rinaldi used several techniques to achieve this Sauvignon Blanc’s complexity of flavors and textures. They destemmed 23 percent of the grapes and gave their juice short skin contact to accentuate the varietal character; the rest was whole-cluster pressed. Two-thirds of the juice was cool fermented in stainless steel tanks, with one-third in stainless steel and oak barrels for increased lees contact. The oak barrel segment was stirred (bâtonnage) during five months of aging to enrich texture. Semillon, for melon notes and a silky mouthfeel, completed the blend.