Michael Scholz and his team at St. Supéry grow some of the freshest, deeply flavorful sauvignon blanc in Napa Valley at Dollarhide Ranch. Once a horse and cattle ranch, the 1,530-acre estate in Napa’s eastern hills includes orchards with more than 1,200 fruit trees as well as 500 acres of vines, mostly cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc. The oldest sauvignon blanc vines (planted in 1982) provide the fruit for St. Supéry’s Dollarhide Ranch bottling, a rich style that sees some time in French oak. The team also produces this Estate Sauvignon Blanc, a wider selection from more recent plantings at the ranch. This year, it was the latest release of the Estate wine, 2018, that caught our panelists’ attention for its richness and depth.
Much of the wine’s success is due to the long, cool harvest season. August is the crucial time for sauvignon blanc and, in 2018, it came and went without any heat spikes that might have compromised the grapes. The team harvested the fruit between August 24 and September 25, pressed it to tank and allowed the juice to settle before a cool fermentation in stainless steel. Blended and bottled in January 2019, it’s the best vintage of the wine we’ve ever tasted—brisk, gentle, mouthwatering in its flavors of green lime and agave. (If you follow stats, ask yourself how often you find a Napa Valley white with this kind of flavor development at a pH of 3.04.) It’s a delicious white for ceviche, spicy Thai prawns or any roast fish.
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
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