Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2014
We are dedicated to growing and producing distinctive Sauvignon Blanc from our Grieve Family estate vineyard located in a unique part of Napa called Lovall Valley. This valley is the coolest viticultural area in Napa County and sits just above Carneros, straddling the Sonoma/Napa county line between the towns of Sonoma and Napa.
We double-farm our vineyard, treating the north side of the vine differently from the south side due to the vineyard’s east/west row orientation and Sauvignon Blanc’s need for some sun exposure to achieve the best flavors. We also harvest twice to maximize the flavor intensity of each cluster picked. This process is difficult, labor intensive and expensive, but it allows us to make the best possible wine.
- Size: 5.93 acres clone 3, 4.70 acres clone 376
- Vine Age: 15 years
- Elevation: 650 feet
- Density: 1,089 vines/acre
The drought continued in 2014, bringing about an early spring and very good conditions for flowering and fruit set. The growing conditions were remarkable for Sauvignon Blanc, possibly the best we have seen since 2009, leading to a great harvest in early and mid-September.
The First Pick
For the first time, we included some of the wines that we fermented on the skins for four days before pressing (highly unusual for white wines). This technique adds an extra dimension of grip and oiliness tot he final wine.
The Second, Third and Fourth Picks
Again, for the first time we harvested four times instead of our normal two, providing even more complexity and assurance that each cluster was at its peak flavor. The picks were only separated by one week, but it made a world of difference in the final wine.
- Harvest Date(s): September 5, 11, 12, 17
- Yields: 2.15 tons/acre
- Brix: 22.6°, 23.7°, 23.9°, 24.4°
- Fermentation: 54% French oak, 28% stainless steel, 18% concrete egg
- Aging: 8 months: 27% in new French oak, 43% in once-used French oak, 18% in concrete egg, 12% in stainless steel
Varietal Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Clonal Composition: 93% clone 3, 7% clone 376
Final Blend: 14% first pick, 9% second pick, 36% third pick, 41% fourth pick
Cases Produced: 811 (12/750ml)
The final blend is composed of portions of 16 different cuvées that we fermented and aged separately. The wine has that distinctive yin and yang of bright acidity and lift to the nose from the first pick and the richness and stone fruit characters from the later harvests. The wine shows honeydew melon, grapefruit and apricot notes on the nose and the addition of apricot, peach and pine nut on the palate with hints of spring flowers. The bright acidity combined with the richness of the stone fruit make for a wine that explodes in the glass and on the palate.
Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2014 – 92 points – Wine Enthusiast
“This is a gorgeously floral and herbal wine nuanced in curvy minerality that both defines it and allows it to support lovely accents of apricot and peach.”
Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2014 – 93 points – The Tasting Panel
"Ripe and lush with deep peach fruit and lovely texture; tangy and an intense wine from the undiscovered Lovall Valley of Napa; an exceptional effort."
Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2014 – 90 points – Wine Spectator
"The peach and nectarine flavors have a smoky edge, offering honeysuckle details and orange blossom aromas. Very appealing and juicy, with a succulent finish."