Vintage 2011 is the sixth vintage of Toquade. Vintages 2006 through 2011 grew in an organic, dry-farmed vineyard in Yountville which was planted in 1978. This vineyard has the perfect terroir for Sauvignon Blanc. The soil’s water holding capacity and microclimate are optimal for growing grapes that best express Sauvignon Blanc’s distinctive flavors. The previous vintage was considered by many one of the most challenging ever for winegrowing. The Vintage of 2011 fared no better. We had a rainy winter and spring, which lead to late bud break. The last rain occurred in the middle of bloom for most of the varietals. Consequently, the fruit set was very poor. Some growers lost 50% to 75% of their crops as a result. In addition, the summer of 2011 was similar to 2010; we had cold and foggy mornings, a good deal of humidity, and many pests to battle. These two most recent wine growing seasons the pests have been extremely challenging to control. By harvest of 2011, some growers had no crop to speak of.
With our crops we leafed appropriately to open the canopy and allow airflow and light exposure to the fruit as well as to fight the mildew and botrytis fungus. The weather continued to be unusually cold from July to September. No heat wave occurred the entire year. This made it very difficult to get the fruit to mature to the desired level. Toquade was hand-harvest on September 24th, almost a month later than previous vintages. Where is “Sunny California”? These past two vintages, California’s weather appeared to switch to that of my hometown, Bordeaux. Despite the energy it took to grow this vintage, the fruits were very tasty at harvest and we were able to make a lovely wine.
The flavor inherent to this Sauvignon Blanc fruit was gently extracted in a small winery located in Napa. The juice was then fermented and aged Sur Lie in stainless steel barrels for seven months, with weekly stirring to develop the roundness, palate, and texture. Toquade was bottled at the end of April 2012.
Toquade is a pure, unfined expression of Sauvignon Blanc fruit from a single vineyard in Napa Valley. Toquade has grapefruit and papaya notes, an initial crispness with creamy mid-pallet, and a long finish that explodes with exotic fruit.Toquade can be paired with many foods, including seafood, sushi, bruschetta, various cheeses, and South East Asian dishes such as curries. Recently I paired it with onion soup and delighted at the wonderful match. For the goat cheese lover, an aged goat cheese melted on toasted bread or over a green salad would also pair well.