100% late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from a rocky hillside on Sonoma Mountain; 100% barrel-fermented in new French Oak barrels; aged 24 months without topping or SO2 ; made from juice only.
This was an experiment opened up by Joe Votek, who farms Farina. The fruit set was strong in the vineyard in 2013, and, by the middle of harvest, Joe recognized that he had much more fruit than he had expected. He called us a week or so after we had harvested the Prince (and about a month after LSB) and told us that he had extra fruit— but that it was at 30 brix— more than 17% potential alcohol. We were worried that the fruit would be not only over-ripe and lacking in acidity, but raisined. I was already in New York, showing wine and working at Red Hook. Alex went out to inspect and called me right away: the fruit is beautiful— super sweet, but still good acidity, totally plump, no dehydration, no raisining. We took the fruit.
We modeled the intended wine on a wine that I had made from Farina in 2005— skin-macerated, 100% botrytis affected, and fermented and aged in 100% new oak. So we bought new oak, and filled four barrels. We did almost no maceration— just a few hours— and there was no botrytis— so this was at best an echo or an homage to the original Cena Trimalchionis.
The wine is strange and beautiful: very fresh flavors, 17% alcohol, and enough sugar to make the wine a conundrum. It smells dry and feels dry and even tannic in the mouth— but it is intensely floral, and for all its phenolic structure, the little bit of sugar makes the wine soft and inviting. But an invitation to what? In the end, perhaps more like a cocktail or an apéritif— neither a table nor a dessert wine. Will age for ever.