April 20, 2020
Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest

Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest Riesling

Botrytis-heavy, late harvest grapes from Navarro’s vineyards harvested primarily for their dry Riesling. Honeyed green apple, lemon-lime, mandarin orange, lemon verbena. High sugar, high glycerine, core of acidity to support the wine. This is a mouthful of fun. Navarro also bottles this wine in 750 ML bottles and sell it for $70. I base my value rating and value category on the 375 ML bottle. It’s true that dessert wines take longer to drink than dry wines. The good news is that the sugar is a preservative: Keep the open bottles in the wine and they stay almost as good […]
April 20, 2020
Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest

Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

Awesome dessert wine. Harvested in mid-October with botrytis throughout the clusters. Honeyed pineapple, papaya, mango, heirloom apples, Meyer lemon. Very sweet and perfectly tangy too. May be the best California dessert wine I’ve ever had. I don’t care to fuss with food matches but prefer to drink it by its lonesome. If you do want a match, go for a high quality blue cheese or fried chicken livers. Navarro also bottles this wine in 750 ML bottles and sell it for $79. I base my value rating and value category on the 375 ML bottle. It’s true that dessert wines […]
October 23, 2018
Madeloc Banyuls Robert Pages

MADELOC Banyuls “Robert Pages”

Owned and made by the Northern Rhone Valley’s Pierre Gaillard, Domaine Madeloc is his Roussillon (Banyuls and Collioure) brand. The Madeloc Banyuls Robert Pages is 90% Grenache Rouge & 10% Grenache Gris, late harvest, fortified (i.e. a Vin Doux Naturel, or VDN) then aged partially outside, in the elements, in big glass bottles (and part in neutral barrels). Sits lightly in the mouth for a VDN, showing sweet strawberry and raspberry flavors plus white pepper, anise, and chocolate/caramel smells and flavors. This is a great sipper by itself…you will find most will declare this “not too sweet” because of how […]
September 20, 2018
Skyhook Late Harvest Sauv Blanc

SKYHOOK Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 375 ML

Derek Beitler of Skyhook “happened upon” Sauvignon Blanc raisins in late 2013 and, with them, made this fantastic Late Harvest wine. No botrytis, or “noble rot,” a la Sauternes. Rather, the dried grapes hung on the vine clean and intense as they held their natural acidity. 25% Late Harvest Semillon co-fermented for added roundness, texture and exotic flavors (blending the two is very Sauternes-like). So delicious! It’s honeyed, rich and luscious, all the while its natural acidity keeps the wine afloat on the palate. Smell and taste caramel, roasted peaches and pineapple, golden raisins, clover honey and a little bit […]
March 14, 2018
Barbadillo PX Cilla

BARBADILLO Pedro Ximenez Sherry “La Cilla”

Dynamite “PX” Sherry. Candied orange, dark honey, caramel, stewed and spiced apple. Super sweet, seductive, buttery and just plain yummy. Obviously, this is for dessert wine lovers. I deny those who eschew dessert wines to not enjoy this. For what you get, $32/bottle is a screaming-good deal.   Barbadillo is a big operation with many arms (different wines and labels, including private label wines) but you don’t see too often in the U.S., especially in California. While it’s very popular in Spain, Japan, the U.K and Belgium particularly, the U.S. is not “hip” to Sherry in general. The myriad styles […]