Last year, I remarked how it seemed that the 2017 Heart Of Gold might be the best one yet, having had the thought numerous times during the elevage and post-bottling months, then hearing it from both customers and distributors around the country. Then 2018 came along, with it’s very warm early Summer, and it’s dramatic temperature shift in late August, and it’s mild, comfortable, and, really, perfect landing. Right from the start it was clear: this is a truly special vintage (it was my 47th in the wine business, and I don’t recall one I thought was any better).
Fruit Source: Fenaughty Vineyard, at roughly 2800 feet elevation, is located in the Apple Hill District above Placerville, in El Dorado County. The soil at Fenaughty is Aiken-Loam, a dark-red, well-drained soil type of volcanic origin.
Winemaking Notes: Grapes were picked September 6th (67% Vermentino, 33% Grenache Blanc), and whole-cluster pressed into tank. Temperature was set at 58 degrees Fahrenheit, and fermentation proceeded for approximately three weeks, to completion, at dryness. At that point the temperature was lowered, and a bit of SO2 was added to block malolactic fermentation. The wine remained on primary lees until early January, 2019. It was then racked, and returned to tank, and bottled February 6th. Alcohol by volume is 11.4%.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Color is very light. The nose is high-toned, floral, and exceptionally fresh, showing citrus blossom, ginger, seashell-minerally, and savoury nuances. Very lively and fresh in the mouth, with considerable textural depth, and richness to the lengthy finish, and serious backbone. This is a bottle that will develop in impressive fashion, for several years, and drink wonderfully for at least a decade.
Total Production: 305 cases. Retail price: $23.00 Released: March 1, 2019