They say curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. And indeed our quest for fine-tuned Semillon nearly did us in until we stumbled upon a mature vineyard in Knights Valley. The fruit had the energy and snap we were looking for, and paired wonderfully with the small parcel of Sauvignon Blanc we sourced from the banks of the Russian River. It’s had us grinning ever since!
Semillon – The grapes are from the 27-year-old Knights Valley Ranch planting. Here the well drained, ancient Arbuckle gravely loam soils provide vivacious fruit, full of lemongrass and citrus aromatics and outstanding concentration. Sauvignon Blanc – From the cooler Mirabelle site on Westside Road in the foggy Russian River appellation, Stickybeak works with a mature vineyard that provided fruit to other star producers. The grape profile is steely, insanely aromatic and lifts the Semillon through the roof!
The handpicked fruit is brought in at first light, naturally chilled by the cold valley air. In the winery, Winemaker Wayne Donaldson is pretty much hands off. The majority of the juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks with a neutral yeast to retain the fresh, lively characters of the two grape varietals. 5% of the Semillon was barrel fermented in second use French oak barriques to add a savory mid-palate texture.
The wine is smoky and flinty, with a fresh citrus palate. The generous mouth-feel is owed to partial barrel fermentation of the Semillon. Long, deep and quite succulent, the characters of pie baked stone fruit and meyer lemon persist through the clean finish.