Big and sweet in the nose, its ripe peach and sweet honey aromas display just how ripe the grapes were allowed to get before harvest.
Its broad, mouth-filling flavors of honeyed peach and citrus coat the palate; but just before it gets too sweet, its acidity appears on the mid-palate, cutting through the sugar.
This dessert White Riesling, grown at our Henry Ranch vineyard in Carneros, was harvested a full two months after the regular harvest. The grapes were fully infected with the noble rot (botrytis cinerea), a fungus which naturally increases sugars. Depending on the conditions, botrytis can be either beneficial or devastating to grapes. In its benevolent form, over a period of cool mornings and warm afternoons, the grapes shrivel, concentrating and intensifying both sugar and flavor. The grape's acid level remains high, however, which prevents the resulting wines from being cloyingly sweet.
The French call their botrytised wines Sauternes, the Germans Trockenbeernauslese and the Hungarians Tokay Asz. In California we call them Late Harvest.
The grapes were picked at 35 Brix.
Fermentation: stainless steel. The wine was finished at 13% residual sugar.