The 2002 vintage was remarkably even and consistent. Flowering occurred normally in mid-May, and cool-to-mild temperatures prevailed throughout the growing season. Our sauvignon blanc grapes were harvested between August 27th and September 14th, with an ideal balance of sugar and acidity and excellent flavor concentration.
The grapes for our 2002 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, blended with 8% semillon and 3% sauvignon musqué (an especially aromatic clone of the sauvignon variety), came from vineyards in the Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga areas, with 30% of the fruit from our Rutherford vineyard. These warm mid- and up-valley sites deliver fully ripened grapes, enabling us to produce a dry, rich style of sauvignon blanc displaying little of the herbaceous character prominent in sauvignon blancs from cooler regions.
Fermentation & Aging
To insure fresh, pure juice, the grapes were hand-harvested in early morning and whole cluster pressed, and then cold-settled in tank for 36 hours. The juice was then racked off the lees and inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast to initiate fermentation. One-third of the lot was fermented in one- and two-year-old French oak barrels, with the balance fermenting in tank. All but 13% of the wine spent an average of five months in barrel with periodic stirring of the lees to add richness.
Our 2002 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is brimming with supremely fresh, bright aromas of grapefruit and spicy melon, with hints of fig and white peach. On the palate, the wine is youthfully crisp, but quite rich, with concentrated, mouthwatering flavors, superb structure, and a long, citrus-filled finish. This classic Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc will develop an even richer bouquet and texture with 3-6 months of bottle age and will be delightful to drink for the next 1-2 years, especially with shellfish and virtually all seafood and poultry dishes.