#3 Clone / 83 cases prodcued / 13.6 ABV
Stone Vineyard, Alexander Valley
The 2018 is our sixth vintage of Sémillon. We grow this Bordeaux varietal along the banks of Maacama Creek at the Stone Vineyard, a spot characterized by volcanic soils and cool, moderate temperatures for Alexander Valley. We’ve farmed this vineyard since 1972, and it is well-suited to produce white wines with pronounced mineral character and intense aromas. What we have learned about harvesting this grape at this site is that we invariably get some over-ripe bunches and almost-ripe bunches along with the perfect ones (ie it develops a little unevenly), but this works in the finished wine’s favor. More exotic perfume comes from the former and needed acidity from the latter. Tasted April 2020: Bright platinum color; obvious viscosity. Bartlett pear and lemon blossom layered with river rock, honey, cashew. There is a touch of yeastiness from 3 months of lees contact – almost a fresh cheesey-ness. It has Sémillon’s signature rich, waxy texture on the palate and a citrusy, flinty flavor from start to finish. Savor this with some choice documentary, along with a composed salad of beets, goat cheese, walnuts and butter lettuce, perhaps. Quality tinned fish and crackers works, too. I’m becoming a fan of pantry “cooking.” Necessity breeds creativity; we can swap stories later, preferably over a glass of wine. Sémillon ages well, and I encourage you to hang on to a bottle to experience a different, evolved wine in a year or two. The edges will soften, with the minerality receding to show more honey character and a touch of petrol. Yum.