Another vintage of Dolce, Napa Valley, is in barrel! Winemaker Greg Allen took a moment to give us a quick Dolce harvest recap of what he likes to call a “Goldilocks Vintage.”
“After a couple tenuous weeks of harvesting and processing Dolce’s Semillon, we put the last of Dolce’s fermenting juice in barrels earlier this month. The presses, pumps and filters are silent.
Eleven small batches in eighty-seven barrels are slowly being transformed into our late harvest wine, Dolce. Altogether, the 2016 vintage represents an “average” production volume but the quality is exceptional. Rather than saying “average,” I suggest the term “Goldilocks Vintage,” for it is just the right size!
One of the greatest successes to report was that we were able to send 70 skilled members of our vineyard team to meticulously harvest the fruit, berry-by-berry, before, during brief breaks, and after the rains of early November. They conducted their first-ever Dolce night harvest in order save the most delicate of berries just before a heavy rain fell later that day.
We made two complete passes through the vineyard blocks over thirteen days in order to capture all of the perfectly botrytized fruit before the end of season rains and yellow jackets took their toll. Now, you’ll just have to wait two to three more years, and then I’ll tell you how the final blend is coming together!
At first impression, the 2016 Dolce fruit is remarkably pure in both taste and aroma. At the end of its time in the vineyard, I am always humbled by how unappetizing the fruit looks with fruit flies, bees and yellow jackets buzzing all around it, especially when contrasted with the delicious, honeyed, stone fruit flavors of the juice and the rich, golden concentrated notes of the finished wine. I’m looking forward to getting to know this vintage as it evolves from the straw-colored pineapple-aroma stage of fermentation to the perfume and flavors that become evident during its third year in barrel.”
Although the 2016 vintage won’t be released for several years, you don’t have to wait that long to enjoy a glass of late harvest “Liquid Gold.” Discover the subtle notes of butterscotch and stone fruit flavors of of our newest release here.
And enjoy inspired pairings, both savory and sweet, here.