Winter and spring were wet and cold, delaying bud break, flowering and fruit-set by three weeks. Cool windy weather at bloom resulted in a fair amount of shatter, substantially reducing the yields. Temperatures throughout the summer were the coolest of the last decade. To manage these challenges, we made strict quality decisions, making multiple passes through the vineyard to sustain manicured fruit position, canopy management and careful crop thinning. In the end, Mother Nature rewarded us with just the right amount of perfectly ripe grapes per vine. During this vintage, our vineyards were dry-farmed.
Grown along side of our Les Pavots Bordeaux red varietals, the Sauvignon Blanc for L’Après-Midi has taken to the cool slopes of Mount St. Helena. The grapes were picked and sorted by hand, whole cluster pressed and then naturally fermented in barrel. No malolactic fermentation was conducted in order to preserve the fruity and zesty character of the Sauvignon Blanc. All lots were aged separately on their lees for 8 months with gentle bâtonnage, then judiciously blended to compose the cuvée. Intense and multi-layered, the bouquet is dominated by spring flowers, honeysuckle, lily, vine blossom, Reine claude plum, lemon, lime, apricot, grapefruit, honey, and minerals. The rich and delicate flavors follow seamlessly from the aroma. Layered, elegant and very long, the estate’s signature wet stone minerality balances the richness lending a superb refinement to the finish. 2010 L’Après-Midi is already revealing itself as a superb expression of our estate’s terroir and displays characteristics similar to that of the superb wines of Pessac-Léognan in Bordeaux.