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. Our favorite pairings include fresh greens with warmed goat cheese, sautéed scallops, grilled fish or chicken, and angel hair pasta with basil pesto.
Barrel Aging: 5 Months, 75% Stainless Steel Tanks, 20% Stainless Steel Barrels, 5% New French Oak Barrels
Varietal Composition: 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon
Our 2010 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc reveals lively aromas reminiscent of lemon custard, Key lime, orange blossom and kiwi. Hints of lemongrass and mineral—the signatures of this grape varietal—add complexity. The mouth-coating flavors pick up apple cobbler and nutmeg notes before culminating in a long, tangy finish that is lightly nuanced with sweet oak spice. This wine’s vibrant, balanced acidity makes it a delicious apéritif or complement to lighter entrées.
In the cool early morning hours, we hand harvested the grapes from our Provenance estate vineyard and a favorite nearby vineyard, close to the Napa River, with similar soil types and complementary flavors. Both of these vineyards are in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area, which has the ideal clay loam soils and climate for fostering well-balanced, fully ripe Sauvignon Blanc. Each block was picked and fermented separately to increase complexity.
Napa Valley’s 2010 vintage will be remembered as having the latest onset to harvest in several decades. We picked our first Sauvignon Blanc after Labor Day, about two weeks later than average. The growing season got off to a late start when cold, wet soils in March and April delayed budbreak. The above-average rainfall and cool temperatures persisted into May, followed by a mostly cool, foggy summer that slowed fruity maturity. But just as we started worrying that the grapes would never ripen, Mother Nature surprised us with heat spells to boost the grapes’ flavors and sugar levels. Tom reports that the grapes’ quality was “as good as it gets.”
Winemakers Chris Cooney and Tom Rinaldi pressed the grapes in whole clusters and then fermented the juice in a combination of small stainless steel tanks (75 percent) and stainless steel barrels (20 percent) to capture the pure fruit expression. The remaining five percent of the juice was fermented in oak barrels for complexity. Stirring (bâtonnage) during five months of sur lie aging on the yeast enhanced the wine’s full texture.