1997 POTTER VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC RESERVE
The grape source is Pauli Vineyards located in Potter Valley, the most northern approved viticultural area in California. This region possesses one of the most "continental" growing seasons in California. This cool climate and extended ripening period produce grapes which have exceptional character and depth, combined with "extra-vinous" complexities rarely present in grapes grown in warmer regions of California. The vineyard is clay and lime topsoil mixed at greater depths with rocks and gravel from a river bed which transects the property.
Winemaking and Cellar Practices:
The grapes were hand-picked and sorted, crushed and pressed. The juice was fermented in French oak barrels for 11 months. Following the completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked, clarified by bentonite fining, and bottled without filtration in August 1998.
The "Loire Valley" style of Sauvignon Blanc - a very fruity, early maturing wine - has been successfully produced by a number of California wineries. Few winemakers in this country have attempted to produce a "Margaux" style Sauvignon Blanc, i.e., a wine which requires extended bottle development to express Sauvignon Blanc complexity derived from grapes grown on mineral rich, gravely soils. Critical to the success of this type of wine is the availability of grapes whose character goes well beyond simple varietal elements. These essential "extra-vinous" qualities are abundantly present in this wine, which typifies the more serious and classic style of Sauvignon Blanc wines - a new opportunity to discover the nuances which can be achieved with this grape variety. The particular flavors and aromas are reminiscent of gooseberries, lemon grass, quince and smoky white oak. This wine will continue to develop depth and complexity over the next five to seven years.