Our first release from the Nakai Vineyard, this 2018 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc features immense aromas. On the nose, ripe apricot, quince and passionfruit are elegantly buttressed by a sturdy structure of jalapeño and kefir lime leaves. Vivid acid carries the velvety white peach, mango, pineapple and citrus notes across the palate, complimented by the essences of dried hay and river stone.
2018 finally felt like the first vintage truly removed from the stress of drought. Bud break came late in the season—about two weeks behind the usual schedule—a trend that continued all the way through harvest. Our vineyard team expertly managed crop set at veraison, guaranteeing we had optimal cluster counts on the vines. A hot July and early-August were followed by a significant cool spell from mid-August until harvest. This long cool ripening period enabled us to zero in on perfect pick dates ensuring that sugar accumulation was slow and steady thus creating fruit with incomparable ripeness at naturally low alcohol levels. Rain on September 29th presented a major challenge, fortunately we had already picked all of our red grapes and had only white grapes left to pull off of the vine. Despite a short period of humidity immediately following the rain, weather did cooperate with windy and sunny days to dry out damp fruit and limit the chances of mold. Overall 2018 was a bumper crop, not only in terms of size but also quality. The exquisitely matured flavors should stand the test of time as another spectacular Russian River Valley vintage.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding wines to make, our 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was a pleasure to taste and smell throughout its entire production. Late summer in the vineyard a heavy leaf removal to created more sun exposure on the clusters which increased the tropical fruit flavors as well as prevented any mold. Once harvested, the grapes were gently pressed with a champagne-style press cycle to limit bitter phenolics releasing into the juice. The free run and light-press juices were moved to stainless steel tank for fermentation, while the heavier pressed juice fermented in neutral French Oak barrels. These lots were inoculated with two different yeasts to maximize the individuality of each lot—a production technique gleaned from a harvest our winemaker spent in Marlborough, New Zealand. The final blend consisted of 2/3 tank fermented and 1/3 barrel fermented—allowing the sharp, linear, tropical stainless steel lot to effortlessly marry with the barrel lot which carries immense palate weight and soft tones.
Food Pairing Notes
Seafood, green salads, grilled chicken.