Vintage 2010, the fifth year of Toquade, also happened to be one of the most challenging ever for wine growing. Vintages 2006 through 2010 grew in an organic, dry-farmed vineyard in Yountville which was planted in 1978. This vineyard has the perfect terroir for Sauvignon Blanc. The soil’s water holding capacity and microclimate are optimal for growing grapes that best express Sauvignon Blanc’s distinctive flavors.
Vintage 2010 comes after 3 years of significant drought. The year began with a late spring, much rain and record low temperatures. Consequently the bud break was late. Then the summer was cold with foggy mornings. It was the second coldest July in 50 years. No one could forget a vintage like this one. Due to the humidity, we dealt with mildew and botrytis episodes on flowers and then on clusters. Veraison occurred end of July. Mid-August, we gently opened the canopy through minor leave pulling to allow dappled sunlight on the grapes. This operation is done to avoid green pea and bell pepper flavor in the fruit and wine. August 23rd and 24th the temperature reached 107ºF and the humidity moved from 50% to 16%. This heat spike was fatal; some other vineyard’s fruit burnt completely. Toquade’s fruits were protected by the canopy during that heat spike. In September the weather returned to normal and this allowed the fruit a better chance to ripen.
Toquade was hand-harvested on September 14th, two weeks later than the previous vintage. At harvest the grapes were exceptionally tasty, containing notes of passion fruit and lychee. The flavor inherent to the fruit of this Sauvignon Blanc was gently extracted in a small winery located in Napa. The juice was then fermented and aged Sur Lie in stainless steel barrels for seven months, with weekly stirring to develop the roundness, palate, and texture. Toquade was bottled during the beginning of May 2011.
Toquade is a pure, unfined expression of Sauvignon Blanc fruit from a single vineyard in Napa Valley. Toquade has grapefruit and papaya notes, a crisp entrance with creamy mid-pallet, and a long finish that explodes with exotic fruit. Toquade can be matched with many foods, including seafood, sushi, bruschetta, various cheeses, and South East Asian dishes such as curries. Recently I paired it with onion soup and delighted at the wonderful match. For the goat cheese lover, an aged goat cheese melted on toasted bread or over a green salad would also pair well.