2017 Hourglass Estate Sauvignon Blanc
The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of three contrasting vineyards and clones. The Larkmead Lane vineyard in the Calistoga AVA is on the same mineral rich alluvial gravel beds just down the street from our Blueline Estate. As such, this site elicits a vibrancy and stony minerality akin to the minerality expressed in our reds from Blueline. Crisp, tangy Granny Smith apple with overtones of tropical fruits are the hallmarks of the vineyard. By contrast, the 48-year-old head trained vines of the Varozza vineyard in St. Helena yield intensely rich, pure fruit with a noticeable white peach character. In 2016, we added Semillon from the famed Gamble ranch in Yountville for more mid- palate texture to balance the vibrancy of the crisp Larkmead fruit. In 2017 the Semillon played a bigger role adding 9% to the blend. These contrasting vineyards yield a highly complex Sauvignon Blanc blend.
Primary aromas of lemon and lime zest, orange blossom and Granny Smith apples are followed on the palate with a layered blend of limeade, cut hay, white peach, pineapple and vanilla bean. A noticeable wet stone minerality from the Larkmead fruit provides a wonderful counterbalance and vibrant tension to the pure fruit expressions from the Varozza and Gamble vineyards. A mixture of barrel and tank fermentations (40% barrel/60% tank), with about 15% new oak, provide a range of textures from rich mid-palate creaminess, to a crisp vibrancy. Long, low temperature fermentations and lees stirring create an environment for the yeast to struggle, leading to greater complexity and richness, while natural acidity adds a tensional lift and dimension to the rich mid-palate fruit.
~Jeff Smith, 2018