2017 Late Harvest Zinfandel, Lily Hill Vineyard
Dashe Cellars has made Late Harvest Zinfandels since 1997, and this luscious and balanced dessert wine has been one of our most notable wines. This particular Late Harvest Zinfandel is made from grapes grown on the Lily Hill Vineyard, owned by our friends Scott and Lynn Adams at Bella Winery in northern Dry Creek Valley. The steep slopes and rocky soil make the vines struggle to survive, which in turn help the vines create concentrated, complex grapes. One of the reasons that we love this vineyard is the wonderful acidity of the grapes. The resulting wine is focused and clear—it’s never cloying, and always finishes with a crisp, clean, sweet-spicy note.
The harvest in 2017 was one that was marked by a severe fire in Sonoma County, and we were lucky in that we had harvested virtually all of our fruit before the fire occurred. These grapes were picked in the first days of October, and the grapes arrived at the winery right at 40° Brix of sugar. We crushed the grapes into a small 1,500-gallon tank and as is our tradition at Dashe Cellars, we fermented the grapes naturally, using the native yeasts that naturally live on the skins of the grapes. We let the grapes macerate to gain color and flavor, and then allowed the tank to warm. The fermentation took off quickly, and then naturally halted when the alcohol had reached about 14.5% and the sugar level was about 11%. We always allow the wine to achieve its balance of sweetness and alcohol naturally, by letting the fermentation finish on its own. The wine was aged in older French oak barrels so as to not overpower the intensity of the fruit. We bottled the wine as soon as possible to maintain its fresh fruit flavors and conserve its sweet concentration and purity. The wine is unfined and received minimal handling to the bottle.
Production: 248 cases
|Aromas:||Cherry, pomegranate, and floral notes of lavender and violets. Dried cranberry, black raspberry, cocoa, vanilla, and black pepper spice|
|Taste:||Intense, vibrant red fruit—black cherry, cranberry, pomegranate—mixed with darker flavors of currant, plum, and hints of chocolate and vanilla. Nice acidity, making the wine balanced and sweet, but not at all cloying—an ideal dessert wine.|