2016 Arietta, On the White Keys, Napa Valley

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The latest vintage of the Arietta on the White Keys lands precisely on target, hitting the notes we look for in serious white wine, with a rather textbook growing season coming on the heels of a prolonged drought. The blend of 84% Sauvignon Blanc and 16% Semillon is woven together like fine fabric, the high, floral and tropical tones of the Sauvignon Blanc being held up by the deep, viscous, honeyed character of the Semillon. Whole cluster pressed, the juice was fermented in a combination of Stainless Steel barrels, neutral oak, and new French Oak. Only a small number of barrels were allowed to complete malolactic fermentation, which allows the natural acidity and freshness of the wine to stay in the foreground. A recent vertical tasting of On the White Keys showed the great promise of these wines for bottle aging, back to the first vintages made more than a decade ago. The 2016 will be no exception. Years in the bottle will add depth and interest to the wine, but right now the fresh, pure fruit character is seductive. Our longtime sources of fruit for the White Keys are hillside Sauvignon Blanc from the Farina Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain, and Sauvignon Musque and Semillon from the Hyde Vineyard on the Napa side of Carneros. Blend: Sauvignon Blanc 84%, Sémillon 16% Fruit Sources: 68% Sonoma Mountain, 32% Napa/Carneros Cooperage:: 52% New French Oak, 28% Used French Oak, 20% Stainless Steel Production:: 580 cases

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