The 2012 growing season
90% Sauvignon Blanc
2012 was a dry growing year, like 2011, with the scarcity of water already evident during a cold, dry winter. At budbreak, which occurred normally, a water deficit of some 100mm, compared to the multi-year average, was already evident. A mild, sunny spring brought good vine growth, with a rapid, consistent flowering. July and August were hot and almost rain-free, leading to fears of arrested ripening due to lack of water. However, veraison was completely normal and satisfactory. A few rains between late August and early September further hastened ripening, which took place evenly through all varieties. To maximise Sauvignon Blanc’s aromatics, the grapes were picked from 16 to 23 August, benefitting from the significant temperature differentials between daytime and early morning hours, while the harvest of Viognier concluded on 13 September.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The clusters were hand-picked into15-kg boxes early in the morning and were chilled as soon as they arrived in the winery in order to preserve all of their aromatic potential. After painstaking quality control, the whole clusters were subjected to a slow, gentle pressing, in such a way as to protect them from oxidation. The best lots of grapes were given an 4-hour maceration on the skins before pressing. After a 12-hour gravity settling, 33% of the must was put into used oak barriques, 33% in new barriques and 33% into stainless steel. Fermentation temperatures did not exceed 18-20°C, and the wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. Maturation on the fine lees lasted six months, with regular bâtonnage through the entire period. The various lots of wine were assembled into the final blend, and the wine was given a light fining before bottling. The wine was aged a further twelve months in the bottle before release.
WINEMAKER ‘S NOTES
“The early harvest of Sauvignon Blanc in 2012 resulted in a wine with remarkable crispness and multi-layered aromatics, along with that richness and level of ripeness classic to the Bolgheri area. Appearing a luminous straw yellow, the wine marries varietal notes of citrus and white peach to impressions of flinty mineral and creamy butter. The full-bodied palate shows impressive weight, with an aromatic complex of fruit and crisp mineral, beautifully supported by a vibrant acidity.”