The 2015 White Wine has its trademark spice and mineral quality, with slightly less acid and extra flesh from the warm vintage. The rich Semillon really shined in 2015. Flavors include the trademark white peach, kafir lime, lychee nut, beeswax, ripe fig, and pineapple, with prominent wet stones, oyster shells, and freshly baled straw.
The two vineyards are both in the cool and foggy southern part of the Napa Valley. The Sauvignon blanc and Semillon come from Ryans Vineyard, which sits on a streak of alluvial gravel in the center of the valley floor, south part of Napa. 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. The Ribolla gialla and Tocai friulano are from the tiny Vare Vineyard. Ribolla gialla is an extremely old variety cultivated since medieval times in the Collio region of Italy and Slovenia. The Sauvignon blanc brings a clean fresh citrusy acidity and some tropical character. The Ribolla gialla brings seashell minerality, nuttiness, and structure to the blend. The Semillon contributes viscosity and waxiness that adds gravity and weight. The Tocai friulano adds spicy aromatic notes. The acidity and fruit expression is balanced by a rich lees character and a faint backdrop of creamy oak. There is interplay in the wine between lightness and richness, and focus and complexity.
The fruit was very lightly whole-cluster-pressed. All four varieties were blended immediately upon dryness, racked and returned onto the lees for aging until bottling. As always 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 further malolactic fermentation, and then bottled.