2012 VASO Cellars Sauvignon Blanc
After the challenges presented in 2009-2011, the 2012 vintage was welcomed with open arms. We had some beautiful warm days in both January and February, followed by almost 12 inches of rain in March. This pushed bud break back a couple weeks into mid and even late April for the Hershey vineyard. These rains set us up for larger than normal yields and berry sizes. We left cover crops in place a bit longer to dry soil profiles, leaving extra fruit to limit berry size. The extra fruit was then dropped later to balance the vines. The summer of 2012 was very mild, with just one summer heat spike on June 16th and an Indian summer warming event on October 1st. The October warming trends can be detrimental, but in this case, they were just the motivation the vines needed to achieve perfect ripeness.
We harvested our 1.64 acres of Hershey Sauvignon Blanc in three picks over the period of 18 days. Tradition has made this a “team” pick where all employees join for the first harvest of the season to pick, enjoy a meal and press. We gathered just after Labor Day to make a selective pass of only ripe clusters. Nine days later we made a second pass, and just before the October warming event we finished the lower corner where cooler air collects.
All lots were gently basket pressed, leaving clean juice flowing directly to barrel for both native and inoculated fermentations in new and used oak, plus our concrete egg. This was the first vintage where we had sufficient juice to use the egg. It retains the purity of the site while concentrating mid palate weight. The wines were only racked once for blending and once for bottling.
The 2012 VASO Sauvignon Blanc from the Dana Estates Hershey Vineyard, embodies its vintage and site with an arrestingly fresh and vibrant energy. On the nose, high-intensity aromas of fresh, ripe peach, orange blossom, honeysuckle, mandarin, and pineapple are joined by notes of lemongrass, vanilla, and flinty minerality. Bright, vivid acidity is balanced by a well-rounded, creamy texture and matched by flavors of lemon, lime, and tart yellow apple that persist throughout the lengthy and refreshing finish. Drinks now with real verve yet displays all the elements necessary to continue to develop for five years or more. Serve with dishes containing enough acid (such as lemon) to match the energy of the wine.
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
18 months in 66% once used French oak, 24% stainless steel, 10% cement egg
Ermitage Bertrange Forest (light toast)
May 7, 2014