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. Winemaker Chris Cooney’s favorite pairing: sautéed scallops served on a fresh, spring-pea purée.
Barrel Aging: 5 Months, 70% Stainless Steel Tanks, 25% Stainless Steel Barrels, 5% New French Oak Barrels
Varietal Composition: 94% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon, 1% Muscat Blanc
The quality of Napa Valley’s celebrated 2012 vintage is revealed in the notably lush tropical-fruit expression of our Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc. Juicy-ripe pineapple, peach and apricot notes fill the aromas and layer the lemon-custard flavors. The texture is seductive as the silky flavors glide across the palate. A hint of French oak adds interest to the tangy finish. This wine’s round, rich flavors and fresh acidity match perfectly with fresh cracked crab, oysters, garlic shrimp, chicken salad and even pork chops with applesauce.
Our Sauvignon Blanc shows a sense of place from outstanding vineyards in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA). In the cool early morning hours, we hand harvested 92 percent of the grapes from the Rutherford AVA, including 60 percent from our estate vineyards. The remaining 8 percent came from a Sauvignon Musqué vineyard (a clone of Sauvignon Blanc) in the Calistoga AVA, which Chris chose for its complementary flavors. Each block was picked at its peak maturity and fermented separately to increase complexity.
The relaxed, high-quality 2012 harvest was a winemaker’s dream. The ideal growing season—well-timed rains, no frost during budbreak, and perfect weather for bloom, berry-set and ripening—was textbook Napa Valley. Long stretches of sunny days coupled with foggy nights gave our 2012 wines exceptionally rich, expressive flavors and impeccable balance. We had no weather pressures, from either pending rains or excessive heat, to rush the harvest. Instead we had the luxury of waiting until the grapes reached absolutely perfect maturity.
We pressed the grapes in whole clusters and then fermented most of the juice in a combination of stainless steel tanks (70 percent) and small stainless steel barrels (25 percent). We fermented the juice in tanks at cold temperatures to capture Sauvignon Blanc’s lively fruit expression and used stainless steel barrels for greater lees contact during sur lie aging. The balance of the juice (five percent) was fermented in new French oak barrels for complexity. Stirring (bâtonnage) during five months of sur lie aging developed the wine’s silky texture. Chris added small amounts of Semillon and Muscat to enhance the wine’s melon and floral notes.