Carol’s Vineyard, St. Helena AVA, Napa Valley, CA
Delicious now, but can be cellared for 2 to 3 years3 Years
Arugula salad tossed with sliced fennel, ruby grapefruit, toasted hazelnuts and shaved pecorino cheese with a citrus vinaigrette. Roasted halibut with sauce vierge.
The 2015 vintage was one of the warmest vintages since 2004. With our new irrigation regime of infrequent but long irrigations, we virtually dry-farmed Carol’s Vineyard with only two irrigations over the entire growing season. The result is Sauvignon Blanc vines that truly express the terroir of the site nuanced by the growing season weather. Given the very warm spring and summer in 2015, we began to take maturity samples in late July in anticipation of an early harvest. Guided by our traditional maturity sampling and the Vivelys Dyostem color-monitoring system, we based our picking dates largely on fruit color changes to optimize thiolic aromas and flavors of passion fruit, tropical fruits and boxwood. These color changes closely match the flavor changes we tasted in the vineyard. We separately tracked and picked our lighter canopied sections of the vineyard on August 10th, the middle vigor sections on the 13th and 14th, and the more vigorous portion on August 15th, all at their peak of Sauvignon Blanc thiolic fruit expression.
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. This provides only dappled sun exposure to the grape clusters, which preserves some of the natural herbaceous fruit character.