2014 Naucratis Lost Slough Vineyard
This wine is composed of 100% Verdelho from the Lost Slough Vineyard in the Sacramento River Delta.
This is a fascinating vineyard and one of the most important that we work with. It has the shocking ability to produce fruit for white wine of absolutely excellent quality year in and year out. We have only declassified wine from this vineyard once in twelve years. The vineyard itself is a large flat plain in the Delta, a beautiful, calm, cool, wetlands east of Napa and south of Sacramento. Its soil is shallow and consists of clay loam dotted with ancient sea shells from when the whole area was under water—only as little as 150 years ago. The weather is cool, foggy, with very good breezes in the afternoon and evening. The soil is difficult and makes the vines struggle; the cool, breezy growing conditions permit leisurely ripening.
We whole-cluster press the Verdelho very gently and aim for minimum yields and maximum quality, with the highest possible preservation of freshness and acidity. This year we drew only about 115 gallons per ton for this wine and used the remaining juice for a decent but less remarkable keg wine. We achieved both one of our best harvests in 2014, but also some of our very best winemaking with this wine—our best effort at producing a low pH, high acid wine from this vineyard. We always ferment in a single stainless-steel tank, protect the wine from oxygen, let it sit on the lees for about 6 months, and use cold and SO2 to inhibit malolactic fermentation. We bottled the wine early in February, in perfect form.
A note on the origin of the name: the vineyard is in the middle (nearly the exact center) the beautiful Sacramento River delta. The Delta made me think of another delta I had thought about in my previous life, in which I had studied Ancient Egypt. The center of ancient Egypt was the Nile River delta. The main city in the ancient Delta was a Greek colony called Naucratis. It was one of the “twin cities” of the Delta. In some kind of crazy coincidence, the Lost Slough vineyard is on Twin Cities road. I could not help naming the wine for that ancient city.
178 cases produced.