2010 Sauvignon Blanc
California: Napa Valley
Today’s 2010 Toquade Wines Sauvignon Blanc is a truly unique, truly delicious wine. This is not your usual, light-hearted California Sauvignon Blanc, though. Rather, it is on the more herbaceous and even slightly vegetal style. This makes sense, given that the winemaker is a native of France.
On opening, this wine is understated. As it warms, it opens up, revealing layers of aromatics and flavors that were not present on opening. In the French style, this wine is approachable and slightly underripe.
If you enjoy truly unusual but very pleasant Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll accept our mission on this recommended wine.
Pale golden hues from the heart of the wine, right out to the edge. After spinning the wine, it settles very quickly in the glass.
Very earthy and complex, with aromas of hay, dried clay, citrus, white berry bramble, almond and subtle grilled asparagus.
Intriguing and tasty with fresh baby asparagus, yellow grapefruit, lime zest, Meyer lemon peel and limestone.
Medium long, bright and elegant. At the edges, the limestone and zest add a little zing at the edges of the palate.
Grilled sea bass served on a bed of saffron rice and a side of grilled asparagus.
What the Winery Says
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.
- 450 cases
About the Winery
Toquade is the French word for “craze” or “infatuation.”
Toquade was created to enhance and complement good company, good food and good music. It has its own distinct personality, like a simple melody which can’t be forgotten. Toquade was a labor of love and a hands-on creative endeavor from the harvest to the table.
Winemaker Christine Barbe
I chose “Toquade” as the name of my wine because I have had a passion for Sauvignon blanc for many years. “Toquade” is also the story of my winemaking life, which began in 1991 in my hometown, Bordeaux. At that time, I was a doctoral student at Bordeaux Institute of Enology, and was making wine at Château Carbonnieux and La Louvière in Pessac-Léognan. For the next five years, I worked with people in Bordeaux who were passionate about Sauvignon Blanc. From them, I learned how to taste Sauvignon Blanc grapes as they ripen to determine when to harvest the grapes to maximize the aroma and flavor of the wine.
In 1996, I graduated with a Ph.D in Enology and Viticulture and came to California, where I did winemaking and viticulture research at Robert Mondavi, Gallo, and Trinchero wineries. During these years I learned to apply the winemaking training I received in France to the grapes of California.
Toquade is the result of what I learned about bringing the flavors inherent in the grape to the wine in the glass during my 15 years of experimentation and winemaking in France and California.
I have also made Cockerell’s wines since 2006.