Groth Vineyards & Winery believes that a significant portion of the magic in the bottle comes from what goes on out in the vineyards. Our Vineyard Manager, Ben Benson, has been farming on this land since he joined Groth as the very first member of the team in 1982. His years of experience with the Groth estate have enabled us to make sure we have the perfect grape planted in the perfect location. We have matched soil types to rootstock, to grape clone, to trellising. Since 1996 Groth has replanted 90% of our vineyards. This major undertaking allows us to take advantage of the strides that have been reached in the viticulture community over the last decade, and combine them with our history with the land, to give us the ultimate combination between the grapes and the wines that we eventually make from them.
2013 SAUVIGNON BLANC NAPA VALLEY
Vintage: “MELLOW” is the word that comes to mind to describe the vintage from a winegrowing and winemaker perspective. “FANTASTIC” is the word that comes to mind to describe the quality and bounty of the crop. Two outstanding years in a row – Mother Nature has blessed us again. Early bud break was followed by exceptional weather that continued through the entire season. There was no need to be frantic about picking, we were all very relaxed! We were able to pick when the grapes were at their finest, giving us fantastic fruit expression, balance, and liveliness in the whites and outrageous color, and bodacious tannin structure in the reds. 2013 will go down in the annals as one of the greats along with 2012. Two in a row – WOW!
Harvest: Our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc was produced from grapes grown in various microclimates of the Napa Valley. The warmer Napa Valley microclimates give us grapes that result in wines with a lush, full melon/citrus character in the aroma and in the flavor. The cooler Napa Valley fruit provides a solid, crisp backbone that gives the wine an exciting liveliness that balances the rich creaminess from “sur lie” aging.
Winemaking: All of the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon was whole cluster pressed. Whole cluster pressing gives us juice of incredibly high fruitiness and softness. After pressing and settling, 60% of the juice was moved to small oak barrels where it was put through a long, cool fermentation. Within two weeks, the wine fermented to dryness and the wines were allowed to age “sur lie” for a total of five months in the small oak barrels. These barrels are experienced (4-12 years old) and completely inert. This pressing, fermentation and aging program adds rich complexity to the aromas and flavors.
Blend: Sauvignon Blanc 97%, Semillon 3%
Menu suggestion: “One of my favorite dishes with Sauvignon Blanc is fresh raw oysters (small ones, like Kumamotos) marinated in a ceviche marinade (lemon/lime juice, finely chopped onions, tomato, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, salt) served chilled on the half shell with chilled Sauvignon Blanc – yummy!” Michael Weis, Winemaker
2011 CABERNET SAUVIGNON OAKVILLE, NAPA VALLEY
Vintage: Very much like the 2010 harvest 2011 was a year punctuated by a direct move from Spring into Fall. Spring rains during bloom and set disrupted pollination of the grape flowers resulting in reduced yields across the board. In retrospect, this turned out to be a silver lining in an otherwise gray cloud. As the season progressed cool weather continued resulting in even more fruit being thinned off the vines. This long, cool growing season was crowned, fortunately, by a marvelous “Indian summer” of warm, dry days in September and October. This blessed weather event gave us wonderful fruit character at lower than normal sugars, alcohol levels. Later rains in late-October, early November had minimal impact on any remaining Cabernet on the vines. Overall, the vintage was a challenge but due to a lot of work in the vineyards and in the winery we are blessed with wonderful wines again from this amazing area.
Harvest: The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit is grown on our Estate controlled vineyards, in the Oakville AVA, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The fruit is night harvested, cluster sorted by hand, crushed and put into small tanks for fermentation.
Winemaking: Fermentation was carried out over a ten-day period in small, temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at an average temperature of 85 F. After pressing and settling, the wine was transferred to small French oak barrels for aging. The sweet vanilla character derived from 22 months in the barrels blends well with the black cherry and blackberry flavors and aromas of the wine.
Winemaker tasting notes: The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is big and lush with huge gobs of fruit in the aroma and flavor. The texture of the wine is soft and supple, typical of Cabernet Sauvignons grown in our area of the Oakville AVA.
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 88%, Merlot 12%
Menu suggestion: “A slab and a Cab”, Dennis Groth recommends you drink his Cabernet Sauvignon with steak.
2012 CHARDONNAY HILLVIEW VINEYARD ∙ NAPA VALLEY
Vintage: “MELLOW” is the word that comes to mind to describe the vintage from a winegrowing and winemaker perspective. “FANTASTIC” is the word that comes to mind to describe the quality and bounty of the crop. Early bud break was followed by exceptional weather that continued through the entire season. There was no need to be frantic about picking, we were all very relaxed. We were able to pick when the grapes were at their finest, giving us fantastic fruit expression, balance, and liveliness in the whites and outrageous color, and bodacious tannin structure in the reds.
Harvest: Our Chardonnay is made entirely from grapes grown in our Hillview Vineyards, located in the Oak Knoll District AVA, which was planted in 1996. The fruit from this cooler vineyard site provides the tropical fruit, citrus and mineral notes that complement food nicely.
Winemaking: All of the 2012 Chardonnay fruit was whole cluster pressed. This gives us juice with incredible fruit flavors and softness. After pressing and cold settling, the juice was transferred to French oak barrels, 25% of which were new, for fermentation and aging. After eight months of aging “sur lie”, the wine was racked off the yeast lees, blended and finished for bottling.
Winemaker Tasting notes: Long, cool fermentation in a mixture of old and new barrels gives our Chardonnay layers of fruitiness and complexity that result in a wine that is very enjoyable when young or after several years of bottle age. This method of fermentation, in conjunction with whole cluster pressing and “sur lie” aging add layers of toastiness and creaminess to the wine. Together these components meld together harmoniously to create a balanced wine that is both lively and rich in aroma and flavor.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay