Featured Wine Deal
Franciscan Estate Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2013
- Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
- Country: USA
- Region: Napa Valley
- Unit Size: 750 ml
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Pale Straw in color, brimming with lime and grapefruit, softened by notes of pear and vanilla. Lemongrass, lychee, and a minerality reminiscent of river stones add layers of fragrance. Bright, clean, and inviting. Vibrant citrus, grapefruit, and lime zest. Subtle grassy notes and bright acidity are framed by minerality. Very clean and palate cleansing. Fruit forward with a long, lingering honeydew and soft lime finish.
The 2013 vintage gave us near perfect growing conditions which led to an early harvest with the first Estate Sauvignon Blanc grapes arriving at the winery on August 5, 12 days ahead of 2012, and 25 days ahead of 2011. Spring conditions were warm and dry which led to an early bud break and very even set. Aside from one hot spell at the end of June, temperatures remained moderate throughout the spring and summer. With only 8 inches of rain from January through June, the vines had less green growth and an earlier turn to fruit development. As harvest progressed, the quality of the Sauvignon Blanc was exceptional and the last grapes came in on September 6.
In our quest to produce a rich, vibrant, and supple Sauvignon Blanc, we took this wine on a little trip: the Loire meets New Zealand by way of Napa Valley.
To bring out the aromas and flavors that make this grape so appealing, we source fruit from several Napa Valley sub-appellations and apply a range of small-lot winemaking techniques. For vineyards offering mineral character, the fruit is gently whole-cluster pressed and undergoes a slow, cold fermentation in tank to capture the purity and minerality of the fruit as you might find in a Loire wine. With vineyards offering rich, expressive fruit, we give the must 6-8 hours of skin contact—a New Zealand technique. The juice is tasted every hour to pinpoint the peak of lime and lemongrass flavor before pressing off the skins. Together, the different lots unite to create a wine with great complexity and vibrancy.
Franciscan Estate Winery
Franciscan is one of Napa Valley's most venerable wineries, reaching back more than three decades. Franciscan wines take their signature style - rich, vibrant flavors framed by supple tannins - from the ideal climate offered by Napa Valley's cool, southern half and from the time-honored tradition of small-lot winemaking, blending from hundreds of barrels to craft fine wines that fully express the classic Bordeaux varieties.
Franciscan was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and doctors from San Francisco who decided to try turning their passion for wine into a business. In 1985, Agustin Huneeus, a Chilean exile who had built Concha y Toro in his native country, took over the helm at Franciscan. Huneeus refocused the winery on using the superlative grapes growing in its own vineyards, rather than sourcing from outside.
Today, Franciscan's wines are crafted under the exacting eye of Janet Myers, who came to Franciscan in August 2003 as associate winemaker after working in the Margaret River region and Beaulieu Vineyard, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Louis Martini. The winery remains committed to its tradition of small-lot winemaking, with small batches averaging just 150 to 1,500 cases. The image of a hand-operated wine press on Franciscan's logo and wine labels reflects this small lot approach to winemaking.
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