Spring is all about abundance—baby chicks are hatched, flowers blossom and food begins to bountifully grow from the earth as the sun shines upon the plants. In wine country, the abundance around this time of year is all about new spring wine releases—and by that I mean white and Rosé! You’ve likely noticed that just about every winery recently released their 2016 whites and Rosés, and for those of us who’ve been excited to taste the new vintage, this release couldn’t have come soon enough!
In Northern California, the end of 2015 brought winter rains that helped to replenish dormant vines, and was then followed by a steady 2016 growing season with ample sunshine. An early harvest brought in normal-size yields of high-quality fruit. The high quality of the grapes is certainly visible in the new spring releases from Napa Valley’s Stewart Cellars. Their Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc are perfect for springtime sipping, and their Chardonnay makes an excellent match alongside a seafood feast.
I enjoy the way the 2016 Rosé has lots of fresh, juicy watermelon and green apple flavors, with zingy acidity and a very refreshing style on the palate. While on the lighter-profiled side, it does have a touch of weight and silky texture on the mid-palate—perhaps even a gentle kiss of caramel underneath. A touch of Meyer lemon shows itself on the finish with some white pepper and clove spice. This wine is lively and thirst-quenching—perfect when the sun is shining down upon you.
And the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is equally as enticing. Full of stone fruit and mineral aromas, with a sprinkling of Meyer lemon zest, this Sauv Blanc is a delight. The palate mimics those aromas in its fresh, playful style. The way the acidity dances across the palate is nicely juxtaposed against the silky texture on the finish. I really enjoyed this fresh and tasty Sauvignon Blanc that finds the right balance between ripe fruit, zippy acidity and a seductive texture.
As for the 2016 Chardonnay, it sees ten months in 35% new French oak, so it’s one of those tasty Chardonnays that seeks to be well-balanced—no butter bomb, here! Instead, you get a well-crafted Chardonnay that has the intensity of flavor and texture to pair with food—seafood loaded with an herb butter sauce would be fantastic—while still being bright and fresh enough to enjoy on its own. White flowers and citrus grace the nose, while the palate leans towards flavors of peach, lemon, lime and ginger. Again, the acidity here is nice and crisp, but that is well-balanced by the textural richness left behind by the 35% new French oak ageing.
Be on the lookout for new white and Rosé wine releases this spring, and don’t miss a chance to visit Stewart Cellars to stock up on these refreshing spring selections!