Monday, August 19, 2013

2013 VELLUM White: Another Vintage is Born!

With the 2013 harvest quite literally around the corner (this week in fact), we spend our time preparing for only one thing - the white wine.  August in Napa Valley for VELLUM is and always will be the month devoted to VELLUM White!  We find that the best time to harvest Sauvignon blanc and Semillon is when the fruit is coming out of its adolescence and is discovering its maturity.  Here is the right of passage for the fruit, when we portend the future of it ten years later in bottle!  That is harvest day - we capture a one moment frozen in time and find a new home for its best flavours that are bright, wild and full of life!

This year August is especially uncommon.The weather has given us an earlier harvest by at least a week. With earlier ripening, such a situation should yield an added benefit of succulent acidity, fine structure and a well defined palate. It certainly is a vineyard year; where as winemakers, our job gets a whole lot easier when nature is on our side. We expect this vintage to have more than its share of promise!

As we usher in the 2013 harvest, we do not want to forget the bounty of 2012 that gave us VELLUM White. Now in current release, the wine has become everything we want it to be and it will only reveal more of its hidden layers in the years to come. For those of you that already have a bottle of it in hand, I have been asked to share to a few thoughts...

The 2012 Vellum White is wonderfully vibrant and generous in nature. Aromas waft easily from the glass and present remarkable notes of fresh citrus, young fig, chamomile and thistle. The wine reaches across the entire palate with ample volume and a tensile strength. It moves its gentle oily weight to yield a supple viscosity and reveal an inner incense of spice from the near east.Layered flavours continue with lively citrus, ripe gooseberry and summer thicket that persist to a long, succulent and complex finish. Vellum White is focused, unique and singular in style, but pays tribute to the tradition of great Bordeaux blanc! Age 15+ years.

Well, enough of the “critic-speak”, that is a lot to think about, but what I really want to say is that all of you simply enjoy it!  I still think 2013 has a lot to live up to, however the weather weighs heavily in our favour, and the undercurrent of what we do at VELLUM will always be there.  So, expect more great variations on this theme for VELLUM White. I suspect there may be a pattern forming?!

-Karl Lehmann