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2014 Fume Blanc, Napa Valley
The Wine: Relying on naturally-occurring yeasts, we fermented 80% of the grapes in 900-gallon French oak casks, called foudres, with the remainder in previously- used small French oak barrels. We then aged the wine six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrels. The combination of the right clones and cool growing region produced juicy tropical fruit and lemongrass flavors with a touch of minerality at the end of a long finish that are perfect with a wide range of food, including grilled seafood, chicken, oysters, creamy pastas dishes and summer salads.
Vintage: For the third year in a row Napa Valley experienced an exceptional vintage, aided by near- drought conditions. Budbreak came slightly early and the modest temperatures through the growing season helped preserve moisture. July’s relatively low temperatures coupled with high relatively humidity slowed down sugar accumulation to achieve perfect ripeness with lower alcohol. Harvest started and ended about two weeks earlier than normal, producing superb quality.
Vineyard: We grow Sauvignon Blanc grapes in our American Canyon and Carneros vineyards in the southern tip of Napa Valley, near San Francisco Bay. The clay soils retain water, allowing us to dry farm and the coolness slows ripening and retains acidity, so the grapes develop a crisp liveliness that is impossible to achieve in warmer areas. About 80% of our Sauvignon Blanc is planted to the Musqué clone, which provides elegant oral aromatics. We farm all of our vineyards naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides, and they are certified organic.