Late Harvest Dessert Wine
Tasting Notes: Vividly floral and fragrant, with a delicious array of orange blossom, persimmon, dried apricot, and peach pie flavors, this dessert wine is both fresh in acidity and rich in texture. Honeysuckle and a hint of spice linger on the long and deftly balanced finish.
Winemaking: Left to hang on the vine to concentrate the sugars, the fruit was harvested at 32 degrees brix. The clusters were de-stemmed and the must was fermented with the grape skins for the first ten days, yielding a beautiful bright orange color and extra complexity and texture. After pressing, the wine was racked into a clay amphora and fermentation arrested by cooling and the addition of sulfur. The wine then aged for 5 months in the clay and was sterile filtered before bottling.
Vineyard: Hidden Spring Vineyard lies on the eastern benchland of the Alexander Valley at an elevation of 300 feet near the historic Italian Swiss Agricultural colony of Asti. The southeastern aspect provides the perfect sun exposure for a balance of ripeness and acidity in the Viognier, while the sandy Yolo loam drains away excess moisture and concentrates flavors. Breezes from the northern reaches of the Russian River just a few yards away give the final magical touch to this unique terroir.
Vintage: The first winter with big rains in half a decade allowed soils to store up plenty of water for what would prove to be a scorching hot growing season with over a dozen 100 degree days. Flowering and fruit set were textbook, leading to good yields, but balancing flavor development with sugar and acid levels in the Viognier proved to be a bit of a challenge during the final August heatwave. As the grapes hung on the vine, sugars and acids concentrated through dehydration, and we picked our late harvest fruit on September 29th.
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