2018 Pied a Terre Sauvignon Blanc White
We source our grapes from one vineyard in Bennett Valley. Bennett Valley is a cool climate AVA, south of Santa Rosa. It is usually 10 degrees cooler here than other parts of Sonoma, at any one time. The appellation is defined by three mountains: Taylor to the West, Bennett to the East, and Sonoma to the South. A gap in the mountains permits cool coastal fog and wind to pour into the valley on a regular basis throughout the growing season. Vineyard yields are generally modest compared to other areas as growers are required to make one or more passes thru the vineyard to ensure that crop loads are appropriate and the canopy is in balance.
One upside of cool climate wine growing is that grapes maintain good natural acidity at maturity –the main reason I love sourcing my Sauvignon Blanc from here. The
grapes also benefit from extended “hang time”. Hang time is widely considered to be one of the determinative factors responsible for the concentration and complexity of flavors in wine and is also responsible for softening undesirable bitter phenolics.
2018 After the difficulties of the 2017 vintage and the uniqueness of the 5 preceding vintages, the 2018 vintage brought a return to normalcy. Weather was consistent, mostly dry and on the cool side. There were no long heat spells which led to a long growing season – the longest since at least 2012 . The long hang-time brought excellent flavor development, without over-ripeness as the berries retained high acidity and reached full phenolic maturity. The sugar levels were moderate as well.
Despite a warm February, the spring of 2018 was cooler than the past few vintages, meaning bloom lasted longer than it had in recent years – but fruit-set was excellent.
This set the pace for the grape growing season to continue ripening at decelerated pace. Very little rain or wind during the May flowering period let to a generous cluster count. Summer temperatures were moderate with fewer heat spikes than in recent years. August was very much like ”the old days”— foggy, cool mornings with the sun not emerging until lunchtime. The only real weather concerns of the entire vintage was a heat spike in June during fruit set and a little rain in late September. The fruit benefitted from the long growing season: the tannins were sweet, the color vibrant/intense and the aromas were very complex. 2018 was an exceptional, old school, vintage. The grapes were naturally fermented and aged in high-quality neutral barrels to prevent reduction and enhance the wine’s texture.
Tasting notes: pronounced notes of lime and Meyer lemon complemented with hints of rosemary, white peach, grapefruit and jalapeno…great acidity and mouthfeel. Perfect pairing for pesto dishes, fish and salads – a real food wine!