Current Joseph Phelps Vintages
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Estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc (90%) and Semillon (10%) from our Spring Valley ranch outside of St. Helena.
Grapes were harvested at an average 23.0º Brix, fermented sur lees for nine months in a combination of new French oak barrels (15%) and 2-3 year old French oak (85%) from coopers Francois Freres, Redmond, Latour and Dargaud Jaegle. The wine was blended and bottled in June, 2006.

Harvest Dates: September 1 - 6, 2005.

The 2005 Sauvignon Blanc has aromatic characteristics ranging from floral and mineral notes to citrus and green melon. The expressive palate is clean and balanced with excellent richness and length.

2005 VINTAGE NOTES:The 2005 was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-80°. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 90°. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to develop in the ripening fruit.

The first grapes (Sauvignon Blanc) came in September 11th, exactly one month later than the previous year. Fermenting juice showed great color, balance and flavor, similar to the cool growing seasons of ’91, ’94, ’95 and ’99.

The vintage was also characterized by high yields. A wet spring increased tonnage by an average of 30% over expectations, and given that the 2004 vintage came in at 40-45% under projections, there was a 70% swing between the two years, making 2005 yields seem even higher.

Depending on vineyard and crop balance, there will be variability in fruit quality. Grapes picked in October were more mature and not as soluble as fruit picked earlier, making it harder to extract tannins during fermentation. However we were extremely fortunate that the weather stayed dry and mild as long as it did, allowing fruit to avoid dehydration from conditions that were too warm, and not from weather that was too wet.

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