Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – 2015
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 2015; bring about an earlier spring than normal and good conditions for flowering and fruit set. The growing conditions were marked by heat spikes followed by cool periods, leading to a great harvest with three separate harvest dates in early and mid-September.
The First Pick: For the second time in our regular Grieve sauvignon blanc cuvee we included some of the wine that we fermented on the skins for four days before pressing (highly unusual for white wines). This technique adds an extra dimension to the final wine with a bit of grip and oiliness.
The Second and Third Picks: In 2015 we harvested three times, providing even more complexity and assurance that each cluster was at its peak of flavor. The picks were only separated by 10 days, but it made a world of difference in the final wine.
- Harvest Date(s): September 6, 14, 16
- Yields: 2.19 tons/acre
- Brix: 22.9°, 23.8°, 24.4°
- Fermentation: 62% French oak, 20% stainless steel, 18% concrete egg
- Aging: 8 months: 39% in new French oak, 43% in once-used French oak, 18% in concrete egg, 12% in stainless steel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
- Production (in cases): 756 cases
- Production Case Pack: 9/750ml
- Alcohol: 14.2%
- TA: 7.1 g/l
- p H: 3.31
A final blend was composed of portions of 15 different cuvees 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, along with the distinctive bay laurel character of the skin fermented juice. The wine shows honeydew melon, grapefruit, apricot and bay leaf notes on the nose and the addition of apricot, peach and pine nut on the pallet 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 pallet!