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We finished harvesting 2011 Dolce a few weeks ago, and we will be releasing the 2007 vintage this coming spring. Here, Winemaker Greg Allen shares a little of the journey Dolce takes from grapevine to bottle.
It’s nearly 2012, but we’re selling the 2006 Dolce–which might make one wonder what’s happening in the Dolce winery, especially with regard to inventory. Given that we have had terrific success with harvest (each vintage since 1989, in fact, has resulted in juice of great quality but wildly varying quantity), one might think that Dolce’s inventory is piling up! Not really. Rather, it’s by design that Dolce is four or five years old by the time we make it available.
When Dolce first goes into barrel, it reveals a pale, straw-like color and tastes like hefeweizen, with aromas of pineapple and yeasty notes. Over the course of three years’ barrel aging—and then additional months aging in bottle—Dolce becomes increasingly complex, transforming into the “Liquid Gold” we know so well. For example, the 2007 vintage, set to release next spring, offers aromas of lemon bars and flavors of stone and tropical fruits carried by an enduring, mouthwatering creamy texture.
The transformation from the post-fermentation wine of pineapple-driven notes to the bottle-aged golden nectar with layers of fruit and mineral flavors is part of the extraordinary process of crafting Dolce.