1999 LIVERMORE VALLEY SEMILLON
The grape source is the Wente Estate Vineyard located near Livermore. The vines were planted in the 1880s from the original Chateau d'Yquem cuttings brought to this region by Charles Wetmore. The soil is thin, iron-rich clay, underlain by 20-30 feet of gravel subsoil.
Winemaking and Cellar Practices:
The grapes (75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc) were hand-picked and sorted, crushed and pressed. The juice was fermented in French oak barrels for ten months. The wine was racked, clarified by bentonite fining, and bottled without filtration in August 2000.
The potential of the Semillon grape to produce superior dry white wine has not been realized in California due to the proclivity of this variety to overproduce when grown on all but the poorest soil types. The combination of ninety year old vines, and the perfect soil and climate for this variety, insures a wine of substantial depth, complexity and style. Our experience with this grape variety suggests that these wines like the best white Graves, will be capable of attaining great age and distinction. We believe that Semillon can produce wines which are fully comparable to the highest levels of quality realized in dry white wines regardless of the grape variety involved.