Rombauer introduces its first Sauvignon Blanc
Rombauer Vineyards marks an exciting milestone in its 35-year history with the first national release of its Sauvignon Blanc in February. It’s the first new varietal harvested by the family-owned winery in more than 20 years and the first white wine since the production of Chardonnay began in 1982.
The 2015 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc will debut in select markets just in time for Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day weekend with a suggested retail price of $24 per 750 ml bottle. It also will be sold direct to consumers through the winery’s tasting room, wine club and website (www.rombauer.com). Crisp, fresh and vibrant, the Sauvignon Blanc joins the Rombauer portfolio as the perfect complement to the Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Zinfandels for which the winery is best known.
The wine was a labor of love for Director of Viticulture and Winemaking Richie Allen, who spent five years identifying Napa Valley vineyard sources after founder Koerner Rombauer and his family gave the project the green light. “Rombauer’s success has been its focus on sourcing fruit from the regions best suited for a specific varietal,” he said. “Our Sauvignon Blanc was no different.”
The wine was sourced from four vineyards in Pope Valley and Oak Knoll, sites where the alluvial soils and climatic conditions — optimal sunlight without excessive heat or fog — are ideal for growing Sauvignon Blanc with varietal characer. The vineyards are micro-farmed and managed with the assistance of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) aerial photography, which allows the attributes of the canopy to be seen within a 1-foot resolution. This enables farming practices to be tailored to each block, even down to a single vine.
Once harvested, the fruit was whole-cluster pressed while still cool. Ninety percent was fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain fresh fruit character and crisp acidity, while the remaining 10 percent was fermented in neutral French oak barrels to impart weight and texture. The result is a wine that is aromatic, expressive and elegant, with notes of citrus, nectarine and tropical fruits, and lively acidity perfect for pairing with food.
About Rombauer Vineyards
Founded in 1980 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer, Rombauer Vineyards produces critically acclaimed Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. In 1982, the family built their
three-level St. Helena winery into a hillside to take advantage of the natural cooling influences. They added an extensive network of caves in the 1990s. The winery embraces traditional techniques such as barrel fermentation along with state-of-the-art equipment, with three optical sorters, basket presses and peristaltic pumps to ensure purity of fruit and gentle handling of the wine every step of the way. The family owns 350 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards in St. Helena, Carneros, Atlas Peak, Calistoga and the Sierra Foothills. The Rombauer family embraces The Joy of Wine — the philosophy that the pleasure of wine lies in the sharing of it with family and friends. Koerner Rombauer’s great-aunt Irma Rombauer was the author of the landmark The Joy of Cooking.
About Richie Allen
Director of Viticulture and Winemaking Richie Allen is a native Australian who gained extensive experience with Sauvignon Blanc while working with some of New Zealand’s top wine producers, including Vavasour in Marlborough as well as Australian wineries Penfolds, Oakridge and Church Road. A graduate of the University of Adelaide, Allen became Assistant Winemaker at Rombauer in 2005, Head Winemaker in 2008 and Director of Viticulture and Winemaking in 2013. Allen and his team strive to achieve consistency of style and continual improvement in viticultural and winemaking techniques by melding both traditional and modern approaches. Their efforts resulted in consecutive Wine Spectator Top 100 appearances for Rombauer’s 2012 and 2013 Carneros Chardonnays.