2021 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaking and Notes: The oldest section of the Sauvignon Blanc in the Estate Vineyard was planted in 1990 making them what are we believe the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines left in the Willamette Valley. Another section planted in 2001 and 2002 has begun to come into full maturity giving us a little wider range of options to choose from in terms of coming up with the best possible example of an Estate Vineyard designated bottling. The fruit that comes from there has definitely developed over the years and has different and special characteristics to it that make for a wine that will stand alone and stand out. To further accentuate the differences between our Willamette Valley bottling and the Estate Vineyard bottling 100% of the Estate Sauvignon Blanc is fermented and goes through elevage in Acacia wood puncheons. In 2021 two of the five puncheons used to create this bottling were once-used, two were twice-used and the other one was thrice used. The Acacia wood provides greater and rounder texture much the way an oak barrel does with Pinot Noir but rather than add the typical elements that a new oak barrel would add the Acacia would accentuates natural floral aromatics and definitely plays off any “lemony” flavors by concentrating them to a lemon meringue pie sort of flavor profile.
The two sections of the vineyard were picked on September 8th and 13th respectively which was about the middle of our harvest in 2021. The 2001/2002 planting came in at a racy 21.3 brix and a TA of 10.2 while the older vines powered home at 22.9 brix and a TA of 8.3. We ultimately ended up using all four puncheons of the older block and one from the younger block and as expected this is a rich but lively and vivacious wine.
The Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is a denser, richer more stately version of Sauvignon Blanc than one would generally find in the universe of this grape. Along with the denser textural aspects of the wine the fruit is buffered by the same soil characteristics that make our Estate Vineyard Old Vine Pinot Noir unique. That specific characteristic is the natural proclivity of the older vines to pick up on the inherent minerality in the soil and water on the property. This underlying tone offsets Sauvignon Blanc’s general fruit driven tone making for a wine with both rich high fruit tones and crystalline notes that fill out the back of the wine. All the fruit was immediately pressed after picking, allowed to settle, racked and inoculated with a yeast specifically designed for aromatic white wines. The wine was fermented and bottled after about six months prior to malolactic fermentation finishing. Due to this the wine was sterile filter prior to bottling.
The Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc has many different flavor elements to incorporate into its overall rich texture. While the Willamette Valley bottling is geared to provide the expression of Sauvignon Blanc of which the wide array of people are most familiar, the Estate is more eclectic and is more stylistically in line with wines from Sancerre. Much as our Estate Vineyard, Old Vine Pinot Noir brings the inherent deep-soil minerality to bear in the mid-palate this old section of Sauvignon Blanc infuses the juice with a crystalline quality that creates a significantly more powerful and different bottling that the Willamette Valley. People who feel overwhelmed by the Sauvignon Blanc-iness of some Sauvignon Blancs are often times surprised by how much they like this wine.