Grgich Hills Fume Blanc notes: An early bud break and cold May resulted in poor fruit set, followed by a hot summer. This triggered an early harvest with the lowest yields we’ve ever seen for Sauvignon Blanc. The result was a beautiful wine with lower alcohol and acid.
Vintage: The growing season started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring, triggering early bud break. Colder temperatures in May slowed grape development, which coupled with the fourth year of drought, resulted in fewer grapes in 2015. The harvest was one of our earliest in memory with the berries smaller than usual, but packed with flavor and color.
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 floral aromatics. We farm all of our vineyards naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides, and they are certified organic.
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