This summery, Rhone-inspired blend of Estate whites is playfully expressive, yet elegant in its complex tropical bouquet hinting of hibiscus, passion fruit, and honey. The lively body introduces unique notes of orange zest and vanilla-cream, backed by a quenching palate of ripe melon. The silky finish extends with help from a refreshingly tart, green apple acidity.
We began our 2019 harvest before dawn on August 30. After a growing season that started in winter with record rainfall, the year ended with warm, even temperatures throughout summer. With few spikes in heat over the period, our vineyards had optimal conditions to develop full-flavored fruit with remarkable color and balanced acidity. Spring rains ended in time for a good fruit set. The temperate summer allowed for long hang times and consistent, even ripening. We picked the majority of our fruit in September and the weather continued to cooperate. Warm breezy days, but fortunately no rain took place in October and the last of the grapes were harvested before the end of the month.
Each of the grape varieties for this classic Rhone-inspired blend comes from our Certified Sustainable Wild Oak Estate Vineyard planted at the base of Sugarloaf Ridge and Hood Mountain in Sonoma Valley. The rock and gravel that have washed down over the centuries provide ideal soil conditions for small yields of concentrated fruit. Sonoma Valley’s cool evenings and warm afternoons allow the fruit to develop intense flavors and aromas while maintaining high acidity.
Naturally flavorful off the vine, the grapes for this cuvée (French for blend) are picked in the early morning hours to retain their delicate flavors and aromas and sent immediately to press. The Marsanne goes into a tank by itself while the Roussanne and Viognier are co-fermented. After a slow, cool fermentation in temperature-controlled tanks, the wines are aged in neutral French oak barrels for seven months before bottling.