We sourced the grapes for our 2008 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc from throughout Napa Valley, especially several outstanding vineyards in the Oakville area and our estate vineyards in Rutherford. The superb fruit from these sites allows us to produce a full-bodied, crisp, complex Sauvignon Blanc of distinctive varietal character. In 2008, we enhanced the wine’s complexity by blending in 4% Sauvignon Musqué, an aromatic clone of Sauvignon Blanc, and 6% Sémillon, which enriched the mid-palate, softened the wine’s acidity and contributed a pleasing citrus tone.
The 2008 growing season was a wild one. The year began with torrential rains in January, transitioned into drought conditions in early spring – leading to an early budbreak – then erupted into the worst frost season in over 35 years in late March and throughout April. Combined with disadvantageous weather during the blooming of the vines in May, this significantly reduced the size of the crop throughout Northern California. Beginning in June, however, an extended period of clear, consistently mild weather took hold, enabling us to harvest our pristine, fully ripened Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc between August 12th and September 15th. Despite the season’s trials and tribulations, 2008 has yielded a trove of vibrant, varietally expressive wines boasting rich, concentrated fruit flavors balanced by crisp acidity.
We night-harvest our Sauvignon Blanc grapes at cool temperatures to preserve their fresh, vibrant flavors and achieve an ideal balance of sugar and acidity. After the grapes arrive at the winery, we immediately press the whole clusters to maximize varietal character while minimizing the extraction of astringent compounds from the skins. In 2008, 67% of the juice was tank-fermented and aged in neutral French oak barrels; 18% was fermented and aged in barrel; and 15% was tank-fermented with no oak aging. This regimen allowed us to optimize the wine’s varietal intensity while enriching its texture through short-term exposure to oak.
Our 2008 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc displays a beautifully fragrant nose of ripe pomelo, Golden delicious apple, honeydew melon, lime and mineral, with little of the herbaceousness that sometimes characterizes the variety. On the fleshy, full-bodied palate, ripe melon, grapefruit, kiwi and lemon-lime flavors lead to a long, flavorful finish enlivened by bright mineral tones. “Golden” and “sun-kissed” are words that pop to mind when sipping this delicious Sauvignon Blanc, which makes both a wonderful apèritif and a delectable companion to simply prepared seafood, poultry and vegetarian entrees. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years.