2018 Sauvignon Blanc
90 pts - Wine Advocate
Our Bell Mountain Estate ranch stretches from Alexander Valley in the north to Russian River Valley in the south and borders Chalk Hill. This unique site location, with less than 20% planted to vines, affords us a multitude of microclimates and well-drained, gravelly-clay soil with a compacted layer of volcanic ash underneath to grow our grapes. There’s a strong sense of place and personality in our estate wines…something that we pride ourselves on.
The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is a stunner, offering a balance of power and finesse that really highlights our unique location. It shows up-front aromas of orange blossom, grapefruit, and honeysuckle with a hint of star anise. On the palate, flavors of stone fruit, apricot, and lemon custard predominate. The wine takes its time to come to a long finish with tangerine, lemon zest, and key lime notes that seamlessly wrap together with a touch of minerality. The overall effect is creamy with a harmonious balance of acidity and structure.
After harvesting the grapes and bringing them into the winery, we macerate the grapes overnight instead of going direct-to-press. This brief skin contact extracts just enough tannin to provide structure to the finished wine, and allows us to intensify the unique varietal character of Sauvignon Blanc.
The winter gave us less rainfall than normal. Almost all of the precipitation came in the early spring so the vineyard had a full profile of water to start the growing season. We saw good early growth, a few warm periods, but no severe heat spikes. The key ripening period in late summer and early fall was cool and sunny, delaying harvest by a week but allowing full flavor development. We were blessed with a vintage we always dream about: abundant fruit of excellent quality.