2020 Fennel and Stone Sauvignon Blanc Yorkville Highlands
Since 2014, Jesse and Emma have been on a life long winemaking journey to find exceptionally organically farmed vineyards that play into their goal of making natural wines that speak to sense of place and time. With over 40 years of organic wine growing and winemaking experience between the two lovers of everything wine, Jesse and Emma had access to a small amount of hillside grown Zinfandel in the Red Hills appellation of Lake County. While pursuing her biology degree and All-American water polo career at UC San Diego, Emma would travel to Lake County during the summers to work at the Bartlett pear packing sheds alongside her uncle. Having spent five summers running the pear orchards and vineyards in the early brisk mornings and working along migrant laborers and natives to the area, Emma fell in love with all aspects of operating a ranch. Eventually it was her uncle that encouraged Emma to work a wine grape harvest, unbeknownst to either of them that it would define the rest of her life. Coming full circle, nearly 15 years later, Emma returned with Jesse to Lake County to make, SEAWOLF’s 2020 Lady of the Lake Zinfandel; a further step up in quality, without sacrificing any of their traditional winemaking values. Their commitment to making pure portraits of Zinfandel was recently recognized by Jim Gordon of the Wine Enthusiast.
94 Seawolf 2020 Lady of the Lake Vineyard Zinfandel (Red Hills). Concentrated, jammy blackberry and black fig aromas and flavors are especially vivid in this full-bodied, deep and captivating wine. It shows good depth and layering as well as a creamy yet mildly tannic texture that maintains its freshness and charm.
Vinification and Site
We are thrilled to announce the first vintage of our estate Sauvignon Blanc. All of our wines have a unique journey that starts with a vision of how we want the final outcome to be perceived in the glass. The journey of this wine starts with cuttings taken from Rooster Ranch; Emma’s Uncle’s and Aunt’s vineyard planted on the bench lands of Clear Lake. This site was chosen for its proven pedigree and its specialized clone of Sauvignon Blanc; Sauvignon Musqué. Sauvignon Musqué is the beautiful marriage of the fresh citrus notes expected of Sauvignon Blanc fused with all of the inherent floral notes of Muscat. Sauvignon Musqué is known for its tendency to grow a significant amount of foliage, therefore one can often find it planted in gravelly soils along rivers or creeks where the drainage is impeccable. At our estate, sitting at nearly 2,000 feet elevation, we hand selected a small amount of the vineyard that had an abnormal amount of stone to control the vigor of the new planting. Just over 100 vines make up this expression of our estate Sauvignon Musqué. Respecting the biome and diversity of our 164 acre ranch, we are committed to low input, organic farming. While our commitment continues to preserve the ecology of our ranch, it often results in very low yields. Our inaugural release of our estate 2020 Yorkville Highlands Sauvignon Musqué yielded just under 1 ton of grapes which translated to about 35 cases of wine! The combination of rocky soils and organic farming restricted vegetative and berry growth so that we were able to harvest at just around 21.5 brix, resulting in about 12.7% alcohol. We would have never been able to pick this varietal at such a low Brix if it were not for the combination of the unique clone, site, and farming practices. This incredible expression of Sauvignon Musqué was fermented in small stainless barrels to capture all of the citrus and floral notes then aged for a couple months in a neutral French barrel to provide a subtle creaminess on the finish. The name Fennel and Stone for our Sauvignon Musqué was inspired from stories Jesse’s father often tells of the honey bees that kiss the fennel blossoms that grow on the perimeter of the vineyard and then those same honey bees are often found in the grape clusters during bloom time in spring. Stone, for the volcanic white and brown stones that compete with the roots of the vine.
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