2013 VASO Cellars Sauvignon Blanc
The 2013 vintage marks the start of a prolonged dry period in Napa. Most of the rain we received fell in March and April. With such a dry season we removed our cover crops early, so that any water in the soil would be left for the vines. While there were a few heat spikes in July, August, and September, the average temperatures were moderate, allowing the grapes to ripen fully while retaining structure and acidity. There was a little rain on September 21st, but the dry windy conditions kept the moisture from being any concern to fruit quality. October followed with perfect ripening conditions. The warm days helped the vines through the final stages of flavor and tannin development. The below average night time temperatures helped to retain the acidity in the grapes.
We harvested our 1.64 acres of Hershey Sauvignon Blanc in three picks over the period of one week. 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 golden clusters. Six days later we made a second pass of the upper portion of the block that sits on more well drained soils. The next day we harvested 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. We employed lees stirring during the first half of the 18 month aging process to integrate the oak with the fruit and build the body of the wine. The wine was only racked once for blending just before bottling.
The 2013 VASO Sauvignon Blanc from the Dana Estates Hershey Vineyard highlights the balance of retained acidity to ripeness of fruit offered by this warm, dry vintage and mountain site. Aromas of white peach, juicy papaya, and toasty oak come into focus alongside the vineyard’s characteristic flinty minerality. Rich, lush flavors of mango and apricot are lifted by notes of zesty lime and lemon. Length on the palate, another hallmark of this Howell Mountain fruit, and creaminess balanced by subtle earthy, phenolic notes lend structure to the overall experience. Drink now or appreciate the evolution of this well-built wine over the next three to five years. Pair by matching the creamy texture of the wine to a dish that employs cream or brown butter.
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
18 months in 13% new French oak, 72% once used French oak, 15% stainless steel
Ermitage Bertrange Forest (light toast)
April 22, 2015