2017 VASO Cellars Sauvignon Blanc
A very wet winter started the growing season the soils full saturated, allowing the vines access to all the nutrients in the soil. The spring was dry with moderate temperatures leading to a slightly later budbreak at the beginning of April. After budbreak, the weather was dry and warm leading to a large healthy canopy due to adequate soil moisture and moderated temperatures during flowering. The large canopy dried the soil rapidly early in the season setting the vines up to produce smaller, thicker skinned berries. The thick skins and careful water management allowed the fruit to weather the multiple heat spells that characterized the 2017 vintage. Grapevines behave similar in extreme heat as they do to cool weather, they stop ripening. This slowed sugar accumulation leading to lower brix levels at full maturity. Thus, the wines from 2017 have rich fruit and structure from the dry spring, also have a finesse and brightness reminiscent of cooler vintages.
We harvested our 1.64 acres of Hershey Sauvignon Blanc in 4 picks over 2 weeks, starting on the last day of August. Tradition has made the first pick a “team pick” where all employees pick the first grapes of the season and enjoy a meal together. We gathered on August 31st to harvest the most elevated part of the block on weaker iron rich soils. On September 5th, we made a second pass through the middle portion of the block. A few days later, we harvested the lower south face of the slope. The north facing and coolest part of the block was our final pick on September 11th.
All lots were gently basket pressed to release the aromatics in the skins. The clean, flowing juice was lightly settled before going to barrel for fermentation in French oak. A portion was racked to a concrete egg for aging. The lees were stirred in barrel for the first six months after fermentation to integrate the oak with the fruit and to build the body of the wine.
The 2017 VASO Sauvignon Blanc is a true representation of the warm vintage with lush fruit on the palate and a bright, focused acidity. This aromatically complex wine expresses fresh lemon zest, honeycomb, and orange blossom which evolves into toasted almonds and spicy ginger. The palate is rich with a touch of phenolic structure expressing flavors of white peach, shortbread, and a long, clean finish. The vibrant acidity of this vintage paired with the creamy mouthfeel is what we really love about this wine. Delicious today, but we recommend some time to allow this wine to age gracefully.
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
15 months in 100% neutral French oak, 35% Cement Egg
January 28th, 2019