The 2011 vintage was a difficult one in the Napa Valley being cooler and wetter than normal resulting in smaller yields. Even so, the slow ripening of the fruit produced many special wines including the DeSante Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc. Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc is more common in France where a vine is considered “old” at 30 years. The St. Helena vineyard where DeSante’s wine is grown is at least 50 years old. Old vines produce less fruit but more intense flavors and this wine is special and unlike any other Sauvignon Blanc in California.
Sauvignon Blanc is usually released within a year of the vintage and it does not age well. However, the DeSante Old Vine has already had nine months on oak and another year in the bottle producing a wine with layers of flavor and aromas that are site specific. The winemaker’s notes describe “aromas of quince, lime rind and struck flint” similar to the best Pouilly-Fumé , with flavors of “white nectarine, golden tart-sweet cider apple and citrus blossom.”
This is a very different experience for Sauvignon Blanc drinkers and since only 135 cases were made, better jump on this one quick! It retails for $36.00 and may be ordered at www.desantewines.com.