2016 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
The Sauvignon Blanc by Crocker & Starr is aimed at showcasing the grape variety in a genuine and refined “Napa Style”.
It was made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes, 87% of which were grown on the Crocker Estate in St Helena, and 13% from Oak Knoll Las Trancas, both being vineyards in Napa.
The 2016 vintage provided excellent growing conditions for Sauv Blanc in this area of California, with consistent temperatures that allowed to extend relatively the ripening time while preserving freshness and acidity.
About 2/3 of the grape juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the primary fruit character, while 20% of it was fermented in used French oak wine barrels, and a 12% in concrete egg-shaped vats.
The whole was aged sur lies (on lees) for 8-9 months.
So how good is Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc in the 2016 Vintage?
This Napa Sauv Blanc comes in bright shiny color, probably on the medium intensity side of things, but with both some green and gold hues making it look rather shiny and deep.
The nose is filled with a very a wide spectrum of aromas, the dominant ones being those of a wide variety of fruits: from estery and juicy pear, to fresh pineapple, through apricot and white peach, lemon and lime.
This diversity of fruit makes it smell vibrant, ripe, and sunny!
The complexity to the aromatic profile is brought in by touches of smoky notes, hints of acacia grassiness, and well-integrated oaky notes of vanilla, caramel and delicate sweet spices.
Add some nearly imperceptible leesy brioche characters to the visual image I’m depicting here, and you’ll understand why, if I were to make a short note, I’d simply qualify the nose as being fruity, deep, ripe, and complex.
The palate delivers, straight away, a pungent burst of gooseberry, or boxwood character if that’s more telling, typical of Sauvignon Blanc. There are touches of grassy flavors coming through. More importantly, it is filled with ripe lemon notes as well as lime.
However, while the grassy character we like and expect from Sauvignon Blanc is clearly expressed in there, it is also proudly complemented by a wealth of tropical fruit characters: dried pineapple and mango in particular.
Some of the fermentation run in oak seems to have added smokiness, as well as a smooth texture with silky phenolics, and rounded the flavors with sweet vanilla notes.
It’s dry, with good acidity, but feeling utterly smooth in your mouth, an effect accentuated by the pungent ripe-fruit flavors
A vibrant, pungent, and concentrated Napa Sauvignon Blanc that delivers an impressive spectrum of flavors and sensations.
From ripe and sweet fruit characters, to a grassy and savory yet delicate bitterness to the finish, the tasting experience literally takes you to a sensual journey through its multi-facetted and pleasing personality.
Its overall smoothness and concentration are rather outstanding features.
A wine to experience then it is…