Monday, July 13, 2020

Emmolo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Emmolo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2017

As the legendary Caymus family passes to the next generation, they also expand the Caymus portfolio with new labels that include the Emmolo and Mer Soleil brands. These are attributable to the next generation of the Wagner family extending into their wine family businesses, or developing new brands by the next gen.

We first discovered the Emmolo label during our visit to Caymus Estate during our Napa Wine Experience in 2018.

The Wagner wine business dates back more than 45 years with Chuck Wagner, along with his parents, Charlie and Lorna Wagner, founding Caymus Vineyards in Rutherford, Napa Valley. Caymus of course is known for two world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignons under the Caymus label from Napa Valley.

Chuck’s older son, Charlie, created the Mer Soleil branding consisting of coastal Chardonnay and a recently released Pinot noir. In addition, he is Director of Winemaking for Conundrum which includes Conundrum White, Red, and a Sparkling and Rosé label.

Wagner's older daughter Jenny is winemaker for Emmolo, a brand that includes Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot from Napa Valley. Emmolo is named after Jenny’s maternal family, and was launched twenty years ago by her mother, Cheryl Emmolo. Jenny’s great-grandfather, Salvatore Emmolo, starting the family’s grapevine rootstock nursery in St. Helena in 1923. Her grandfather, Frank Emmolo managed the nursery, but also grew Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot on the family property. Jenny’s mother created the wine label named Emmolo to carry the family name to the next generation.

Jenny started working alongside her father, Chuck Wagner, learning hand-ons grape farming and winemaking in the Napa Valley. She has taken on the Emmolo legacy as winemaker, Striving to produce quality Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.

Emolo wines are sourced from fruit from the family Estate north of the Caymus property in the Rutherford district of Napa Valley. Jenny’s grandfather planted vineyards in the 1950’s and her mother launched Emmolo in 1994 and turned the reins over to Jenny in 2011.

As the brand expands, the wines will also be sourced from the Suisun Valley about thirty minutes east of Napa Valley. This label starting sourcing fruit from there from the 2019 vintage release.

Emmolo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2017

For a delicate grilled white fish dinner, I pulled from the cellar this Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc for pleasant simple sipping.

The winemaker's notes about this wine: "Inspired by the idea that less is more, this wine is more minerality-driven than fruit-driven. Not grassy or overly ripe, it features delicate fruit flavors and steely, mineral notes that call to mind a first summer rain. Our grapes come from two family vineyards, and we harvest the fruit at just the right moment to achieve a balance of firm acidity and low alcohol.

Winemaker Notes  - "A luminous pale gold, this wine opens on the nose with freshness of a first summer rain, layered with scents of white peach and a hint of guava. The palate features a lively acidity balanced by delicate fruit flavors of peach and newly ripened honeydew."

RM 87 points.