While Kelly Fleming wines have been available since 2005, the two current releases, the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc and 2007 Cabernet are the first ‘Estate’ grown and made wines. The new estate winery is located in Oakville and opened in June 2010. It was such a treat to be given the full tour of this immaculate facility by Kelly Fleming and her daughter, Colleen.
The wine tunnel, or cave, which took over two years of blasting into the hillside of her property, is simply amazing and at the end of one tunnel there is a very well thought out museum (library) section where 16 cases of each vintage can be perfectly stored for ageing and enjoyment in the future. Kelly is clearly very proud of her brand new winery and she has every reason to be as it incredibly tasteful, well planned and very inviting.
For those not familiar with the difference between an estate wine and a non-estate wine, basically estate wine is made with grapes from vines owned, or at least fully controlled by, the winery and is made on site, or at the ‘Estate’. For those interested in some of the finer points on the definition of estate wines I have included a great site below which explains it in more detail.
The Kelly Fleming 2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc has a few unique traits that made it stand out to me given the style I am used to having in Australia, whether it be from Australia or New Zealand. Firstly, it contains 2% Viognier, secondly it is blended from 50% French Oak treated and 50% stainless steel wine. It is also 14.5% alcohol which is pretty high for what would normally be a light, crisp, white wine.
It is light in colour and at times can appear almost clear but does have a pale straw/hay-like hue. I found the aroma to be fairly light, not at all like the the pungent Marlborough wines many would be more familiar with. There are hints of vanilla as a result of the French Oak and some noticeable fruity aromas like pear and some stone fruits.
Light fruit flavours on the palate included peach and pineapple in the after taste. The use of 50% oak is also noticeable in the flavour yet the wine is well balanced and enjoyable to drink.
Kelly Fleming Wines 2009 Sauvignon Blanc
Price – $30 USD plus taxes from www.kellyflemingwines.com (Currently not available in Australia)
Region - Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Final Sip - I recommend anyone travelling to Napa Valley check out this beautiful new winery and try both the 09 Sauvignon Blanc and 07 Cabernet. If you needed any more evidence of the quality of the wines then it would be worth noting the restaurants that can boast having Fleming Wines on their list include The Beverly Hills Hotel, Michael Mina and The French Laundry!