- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Howell Mountain)
- Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
- Vintage production: 118 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2012
- Drinking window: 2018-2030+
About The Wine:
The incredibly rocky, rhyolitic soils of this Howell Mountain site provide fruit with structure and depth, yet the cool climate produces a wine of restraint and vibrant acidity. An underlying minerality gives the wine a particularly distinctive character and provides another layer of complexity. The appellation has become a favorite of collectors who value the ageworthy capacity of wines from this elevation.
The 2014 vintage marks the third year of drought conditions in Napa with winter rainfall at half of normal. All the winter rains came in February and March, providing relief from the minimal rains of 2013 and recharging the soils just before the vines came out of their dormant period. Warm weather caused the vines to emerge from dormancy early, with bud break in late March. The summer weather was mild with few heat spikes above 100°F and warm nights. This translated to grapes that retained tannins because of the mild daytime temperatures, but lower than average acid levels due to the warmer nights. The early bud break and even summer weather aligned for an early and bountiful harvest. It was Dana's largest crop to date. Berry size was similar to 2012, but it saw more berries per cluster. As a result, Dana's 2014 wines are structured, yet approachable, with lower acidity than the 2013 vintage. The fruit quality was excellent, producing wines with intensity, alluring aromatics, and classic fruit character.
The team harvested the 1.64 acres of Hershey Sauvignon Blanc in four picks over the period of 12 days. Tradition has made this a “team” pick where all employees join for the first harvest of the season to pick, enjoy a meal and press the grapes. They gathered on August 28th to make a selective pass of only ripe golden clusters. Six days later they made a second pass of the upper portion of the block that sits on more well drained soils. Two days later they harvested the lower west half of the block. Four days late, on September 8th, the lower east portion where cooler air collects was picked. All lots were gently basket pressed and fermented in barrel. The lees were stirred for the first 6 months after fermentation and the wine was only racked once for blending just before bottling.
The wine spent 18 months, 34% new French oak, 25% new French oak “cigar” Hermitage barrels from the Bertrange forest.
Dana Estates Hershey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014
"The aroma offers expressive notes of Meyer lemons, pastry crust, and ginger, with classic Hershey minerality. This wine opens on the palate with creamy notes of lemon curd and wet slate. Bight acidity frames tangerine zest and caramel notes on the long structured finish. This is a Sauvignon Blanc is built for aging; while showing well today we expect this wine to develop over the next 5-10 years."
Chris Cooney, Dana Estates' Winemaker (May 2016)