|Beringerís 2003 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
was grown in Bale Lane Vineyard, just north of the winery in St.
Helena, and Gamble Ranch, a vineyard located mid-Valley near
Oakville. At some distance from the cooling influence of San Pablo
Bay, these areas have warm daytime temperatures and restrictive soils
that are key ingredients in growing high quality Sauvignon Blanc
grapes. Beringerís vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, and his team
diligently manage the Sauvignon Blancís innate vigor through proper
trellising and other viticultural practices to increase sunlight exposure
and air circulation to the clusters so the vines will produce grapes with
balanced citrus, lush stone fruit and melon flavors backed with a
subtle herbal character.
In 2003, Winemaker Laurie Hook chose to send the Sauvignon
Blanc fruit directly to the press, by-passing the stemmer-crusher, to
protect more of the varietalís delicate aromas and flavors. She also
fermented individual vineyard lots separately using different
techniques to highlight various characteristics and bring more complexity to the wine. About
30 percent of the juice was barrel fermented and aged for five months in small, seasoned
French oak barrels so soft spice and vanilla elements would be introduced without
overpowering the wineís bright acidity and fruitiness. In a separate process, Laurie
cold-fermented the balance of the juice to highlight the Sauvignon Blancís citrus, grapefruit
and herbal notes.