2017 Bell Sauvignon blanc, Napa Valley
If you’re going to dance with Mother Nature, remember she always leads. – a wise Napa Grape Grower
2017 brought drenching rains, easing drought concerns throughout northern California. Yountville got over twice as much rain than 2016, totaling over 50 inches; it was the third wettest rainy season in 100 years. We waded out ahead of rising flood waters on February 7th. Spring was wet and cold, slowing bud-break to mid-March.
Following a slow-growth pattern of spring, June surprised us with hail, then turned up the heat - temps hovered in the 90s as the first of many sustained heat spells. In the damp, soft soils of our vineyard, grass and weeds grew before our eyes, and we moved into a very hot July and August with extremely vigorous vine growth producing big, leafy canopies. Twice as many hours of temperatures above 100 degrees wilted us in both months. Some growers felt these early waves acclimated the vines for the blazing days of September’s record heat - 115 was recorded in Rutherford. Many invested in shade cloth, the only thing protecting delicate fruit from afternoon heat scorch.
Fortunately, several cooler swings of temperatures followed the extreme heat, allowing fruit to hang and continue ripening through September’s end and into October. We carefully scheduled picking, often in the coolest hours approaching sunrise. To cap the season, the recent October fires encircling Napa delayed the completion of harvest. 2017 will be very memorable indeed, beginning with a flood and ending in flames.
Upon first swirl, fresh vibrant citrus fills the glass. Grapefruit and key lime mingle with melon, peach, mint, and sweet white flowers. The entry is delicate and creamy, the acidity is vibrant but not over powering. The fresh, clean, citrus notes carry along the palate gracefully and delightfully. The finish is persistent with lemon pith and a stony minerality. Would be perfect with sushi, raw oysters and ceviche!
Varietal Sauvignon blanc (100%), clones 376 and 530
Appellation Yountville, Napa Valley
Harvest date September 4, 2017
Sugar 23.2 Brix
Acid 0.78 gm/100ml
Aging 59% barrel fermented for 1 month in 25% new French oak 41% tank fermented
Bottle Date December 11, 2017
Production 5,376 bottles