2017 MATTHIASSON Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Ryan's Vineyard

2017 MATTHIASSON Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Ryan's Vineyard

2017 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon
Napa Valley
Ryan's Vineyard

This wine is our take on a classic, a 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, a traditional blend that goes back many years in Bordeaux.

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The Sauvignon blanc brings a clean fresh citrusy acidity and some tropical character. The Semillon contributes viscosity and waxiness that adds gravity and weight. The acidity and fruit expression is balanced by a rich lees character and a faint backdrop of creamy oak. That interplay is the magic of this time-honored blend.

Flavors include grapefruit, fresh cut pineapple, flint, oat straw, dried fig and beeswax.

The fruit was very lightly whole-cluster-pressed. Both varieties were blended immediately upon dryness, racked and returned onto the lees for aging until bottling. We used 20% new Boutes barrels, with no stirring. To preserve all of the acidity the wine was prevented from going through malo-lactic fermentation. After ten months of barrel aging, the wine was filtered to prevent malolactic fermentation in bottle, and then bottled. Intended to age, the Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon was held in bottle for an additional two years before release, and is ready now but will reward much longer aging. Over time the Sauvignon Blanc character should recede and the Semillon will come into its own.

The pH is 3.24, the TA is 7.3, and the alcohol is 12.3%. 119 cases produced.

The Vineyards

The Sauvignon blanc and Semillon come from Ryan's Vineyard, which sits on a streak of alluvial gravel in the center of the valley floor, the cool and foggy south part of Napa Valley. It is right in the path of the daily wind current that pulls up through the valley from the San Francisco Bay towards Calistoga. Native grasses are planted under the vines to compete for moisture and nutrients and encourage the roots to forage down deep in the gravelly soil.