This is one of our two estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blends. The grapes are grown alongside our red Bordeaux varietals at 1,000 – 1,200 feet, benefiting from the steep slopes, excellent drainage, and cool air at altitude. The wine is whole-cluster-pressed and then naturally fermented in a barrel, forgoing a second malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the fruity and zesty character of the Sauvignon Blanc. It is predominantly made from Sauvignon Blanc, with just a touch of Sémillon.
L’Après-Midi was named in honor of the pleasures of a slow and lazy afternoon, which according to Sir Peter is a good time to start drinking it.
Following some rain in January and February, the remainder of the 2021 growing season was dry, and the soil profiles in our Knights Valley Estate vineyards were drier than normal. This contributed to a budbreak and bloom that occurred slightly earlier than normal. Compared to 2020, the Sauvignon Blanc set smaller and fewer clusters, resulting in a lower-yielding year. Although most of the summer had moderate temperatures, there were some heat spikes in mid-June and early July. Despite the early budbreak, the ripening slowed to allow for fairly normal harvest-starting dates for the Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon; however, the smaller clusters compressed the overall picking window for the Sauvignon Blanc.
Harvest spanned from August 31 to September 9 for the Sauvignon Blanc, and from September 25 to October 5 for the Sémillon.
The fruit for ‘L’Après-Midi’ is grown alongside our red varietals in the Les Pavots vineyard. The grapes were picked and sorted by hand, the whole cluster pressed and then naturally fermented in a barrel. No malolactic fermentation was conducted in order to preserve the fruity and zesty character of the Sauvignon Blanc. All lots were aged separately on their lies for nine months with gentle bâtonnage, then judiciously blended to compose the final cuvée.
WINEMAKER'S TASTING NOTES
The 2021 ‘L’Après-Midi’ shimmers a pale, light gold in the glass as the bouquet of lime zest, lemon curd, pear tart, and gooseberry mixes with accents of jasmine and baking spices. A lively, juicy entry leads to flavors of fresh peach, grapefruit, apricot, and guava. The plush, textured mouthfeel frames this medium- to full-bodied wine, which finishes with accents of lemon meringue pie, acacia honey, and key lime. The 2021 ‘L’Après-Midi’ will continue to blossom in bottle for several years but is also approachable in its youth.
August 31–October 5
90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Sémillon
100% naturally fermented using native yeasts
100% barrel-fermented in French oak from select artisan coopers
Barrel-aged sur lies for eight months with gentle biweekly bâtonnage
May 9, 2021