While Napa Valley received about two-thirds of normal rainfall, the effect of the three previous years of drought resulted in smaller clusters and grapes. The small crop and high skin-to- juice ratio gave the wine excellent concentration. Waves of warmer and cooler temperatures typified the vintage, however overall temperate weather made for a relatively easy growing season. Ideal temperatures during flowering in May provided for better fruit-set than in 2015. Although yields were still slightly below average, quality was fabulously high.
Our Wildwood Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc vines, rooted in alluvial soils derived from volcanic and sedimentary rock on the east-side of Napa Valley along the Silverado Trail, yield a strikingly different wine than our Rutherford Estate Sauvignon Blanc vines, which are planted in west-side alluvial soils. The Wildwood vines produce wine with such unique flavors that we believe it merits a special bottling.
We hand-harvested the grapes in the early morning and then gently pressed the whole clusters as soon as they arrived at the winery. We fermented 77 percent in stainless steel tanks to emphasize fruitiness, with the balance in new French oak barrels for complexity. Both portions were then aged on the yeast lees (sur lie) for five months, with frequent stirring, to enhance the wine’s silky, creamy texture.