Our Sauvignon Blanc is made exclusively from our Rutherford estate fruit. By pressing the clusters whole and fermenting the wine primarily in stainless steel, we captured the aromas of lemon lime, guava and pineapple. Bright acidity and notes of spice add balance to this wine. We selected a Stelvin closure for our Estate Sauvignon Blanc to enhance the freshness and ensure the quality of this wonderful ready-to-drink wine.
Food Pairing: Fabulous with salads, seafood and fresh-water fish, pork and poultry
Aging: 5 Months, 44% New French Oak, 32% Stainless Steel Barrels, 24% Stainless Steel Tanks
Varietal Composition: 92% Sauvignon Blanc, 8% Semillon
Production: 748 cases
Our Provenance Rutherford Estate Vineyard yields the roundest, ripest and most full-bodied of our three Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc wines. Expressive pineapple guava, lemon–lime, ripe yellow peach, mango and citrus blossom fill the aromas and flavors of our 2011 Rutherford Estate Sauvignon Blanc. New French oak barrels added opulent nuances of nutmeg, allspice and vanilla, while sur lie aging enhanced the unctuous, silky texture. Notes of minerality appear midpalate, and then the flavors turn crisp on the citrus-imbued finish. Winemaker Chris Cooney enjoys this wine with goat cheese and fresh figs, scallops sautéed with citrus zest or sashimi salad.
We made this wine from our 12-acre estate vineyard, which surrounds our winery in the center of Napa Valley. Planted in 2003, this Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA) site on the west side of the valley has Maxwell series clay loam soils. We closely spaced the vine rows to increase competition for soil nutrients and trained them with vertical shoot positioning for optimum sun exposure on the fruit. The vines are grafted to clone 1 for balanced acidity and rich flavor.
The small crop of Sauvignon Blanc grapes on our estate ripened slowly, yet fully, during the notably cool 2011 vintage. 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 and well-developed varietal flavors.
We hand harvested the Sauvignon Blanc grapes into half-ton bins in the cool early mornings. Due to variations in rootstock and row orientation, each block was picked and fermented separately to increase complexity. We used three techniques to achieve this wine’s silky texture and array of flavors. After whole-cluster pressing, we fermented and aged 44 percent of the juice in new French oak barrels for spice complexity and 32 percent in small stainless steel barrels for optimum yeast contact. To highlight the vibrant fruit expression of our estate vineyard, we cold fermented the balance (24 percent) in stainless steel tanks. All the wine was aged sur lie with bâtonnage (stirring) to enhance the texture during five months of aging.