Captures the flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in the Rutherford AVA, in the center of Napa Valley. The 2013 vintage, even more outstanding than the 2012, gave this wine abundant fruitiness with bright acidity. 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, 70% Stainless Steel Tanks, 25% Stainless Steel Barrels, 5% New French Oak Barrels
Varietal Composition: 95% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Semillon, 2% Muscat
Bright, fresh and crisp, our 2013 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc brims with exceptionally juicy-ripe tropical fruit and citrus expression. Pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, honeydew melon and orange blossom layer the aromas and lemon-custard flavors. Hints of minerality and French oak spices add even further dimension to this wine’s profile. The texture is seductive as the silky flavors glide across the palate and culminate in a tangy mango finish. This zesty wine is especially delightful with fresh cracked crab, sautéed scallops or chicken breasts, and mixed salad greens with warmed goat cheese.
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 88 percent of the grapes from the Rutherford AVA, including 50 percent from our estate vineyards. The remaining 12 percent came from a vineyard of Sauvignon Musqué (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 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest—fostering intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines—crowned the vintage.
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.