J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

2008 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

The 2008 vintage will go down in the record books as one of the smallest in the last quarter century.  Low winter rainfall, in concert with a very cool spring and a very hot week during set seemed to initiate the perfect storm for low grape berry pollination.  Despite the very cool and windy weather in 2008, the extremely small crop accelerated the ripening of the Sauvignon Blanc.  Flavor and sugar development came on rapidly with our first pick of high acid, herby, gooseberry-flavored grapes on August 13th at 22.6º Brix--followed by our second harvest on August 18th at 24.2º Brix--when the flavors changed to grapefruit and passion fruit.  Finally, we harvested our last portion of Sauvignon Blanc on August 22nd – which is before the start of most of our Carol’s Vineyard harvests – at 24.7º Brix.  This last fruit brought strong peach and passion fruit flavors, with tremendous, rich mouthfeel.   In the 2008 vintage, we destemmed, pressed and settled the Sauvignon Blanc in tanks, followed by fermention in a combination of French oak barrels and stainless steel barrels.  All winemaking was done in a very reductive environment (excluding oxygen) and the resultant wine is an elegant, delicately herbal and citrus-flavored Sauvignon Blanc.


Vineyards

Carol’s Vineyard is a thirty-four acre parcel located in north St. Helena in the Napa Valley, bounded on the east by the Napa River and on the north by Pratt Avenue.  Sauvignon Blanc represents 10.88 acres of Carol’s Vineyard and is planted in the eastern portion of the vineyard adjacent to the Napa River where outstanding Sauvignon Blanc has grown.  The soils are very loamy and well drained, with a fair amount of gravel.  The Clone 1 Sauvignon Blanc is grown on a quadrilateral cordon trellis to control vine vigor, preserving a single leaf layer in the south-exposed fruit zone, providing only dappled sun exposure to the grape clusters, which preserves some of the natural herbaceous fruit character.

 


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Carol’s Vineyard, Napa Valley AVA
Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Harvest Dates: August 13th, 18th and 22nd 2008
Process: Hand harvested, early morning, crushed and pressed in the Napa Valley
Harvest Chemistries: First Harvest: 22.6º Brix average, pH=3.04, Total Acidity 1.22 g/100 ml
Second Harvest: 24.2º Brix average, pH=3.17, Total Acidity 0.92 g/100 ml
Third Harvest: 24.7º Brix average, pH=3.35, Total Acidity 0.57g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: Vin 7, Vin 2000 and Vin 13
Skin Contact: None
Fermentation: 71.9% in stainless steel barrels and 28.1% in new and second-fill Francois Fréres French oak barrels
Maturation: 8 1/2 months in stainless steel and barrel on light lees
Post-Maturation: Racked and pad filtered, prior to bottling.
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.30
Total Acidity: 0.71g/l00 ml
Alcohol: 13.6% by volume
Residual sugar: Dry

Winemaker's Comments

The 2008 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is a pale, youthful, straw yellow color with a complex aroma of grapefruit, dried flowers, gun flint and faint herbaceous freshness.   On the palate, the wine has excellent weight and bright acidity with clean fruit flavors reminiscent of the aromas, making the Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc an excellent accompaniment to sautéed or grilled seafood or poultry, or even an entrée salad. Serve at 45 to 50 degrees.

 Jeff Meier, winemaker

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