Captures the flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in the Rutherford AVA, in the center of Napa Valley. Fermented with three different techniques to capture fruit character and develop complexity. Aged sur lie with frequent stirrings for a silky mouthfeel. Semillon (for melon notes and texture) and Muscat (for floral perfume) completed the blend.
Barrel Aging: 5 Months, 58% Stainless Steel Tanks, 37% Stainless Steel Barrels, 5% New French Oak Barrels
Varietal Composition: 91% Sauvignon Blanc, 7% Semillon, 2% Muscat Blanc
Vibrant lemon–lime, guava and kiwi aromas are graced by nuances of with lemongrass, orange blossom and slate in our 2011 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc. Bright tropical fruit, tangerine and nectarine notes dance across the silky palate and then culminate in a tangy finish with a lingering hint of minerality and oak spice. This wine’s fresh, lively acidity makes it an excellent pairing for appetizers and salads, such as bruschetta with tomatoes and basil pesto or a Dungeness crab and avocado salad with citrus dressing.
In the cool early morning hours, we hand harvested 87 percent of the grapes from our Provenance estate vineyard and two neighboring parcels with similar soil types and complementary flavors. These vineyards are in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA), which has the ideal clay loam soils and climate for fostering perfectly balanced Sauvignon Blanc. This year we added grapes from an excellent location in Calistoga that also has complementary flavors. Each block was picked and fermented separately to increase complexity.
The small crop of Sauvignon Blanc grapes ripened slowly during the abnormally cool 2011 vintage, giving this wine an especially vibrant flavor profile. For the second consecutive year, Napa Valley’s harvest was one of the latest on record. A wet winter and spring continued into mid-June, causing shatter during bloom and reducing our Sauvignon Blanc crop by almost one-third. While the steadily cool temperatures made us anxious and gave us gray hair, our Sauvignon Blanc led the harvest with excellent quality, showing well-developed varietal flavors.
To fully capture Sauvignon Blanc’s fruit expression, Winemaker Chris Cooney pressed the grapes in whole clusters and then fermented the juice in a combination of small stainless steel tanks (58 percent) and stainless steel barrels (37 percent). The remaining five percent of the juice was fermented in new oak barrels for complexity. Stirring (bâtonnage) during five months of sur lie aging on the yeast developed the wine’s silky texture. To complete the blend, Chris added Semillon and Muscat to enhance the wine’s melon and floral notes.