2021 DASHE Dry Riesling McFadden Farm

DASHE Dry Riesling McFadden Farm

¥5,060 (incl. tax)

On the eastern side of Mendocino County, the Potter Valley is a high-elevation viticultural area, where hot summer days turn into crisp nights and mornings. Grapes that favor cooler climates develop complex characteristics over a long growing season. Dashe’s Dry Riesling is the product of the McFadden Vineyard, where 30-year-old vines grow on white, chalky soil on a steep hillside - not unlike the Rieslings of Alsace. Because 2021 was a vintage in the middle of an extended drought, conditions were hot and dry throughout northern California. Yet, Dashe Cellars produced a delicate Riesling they describe as  “bone dry with a beautiful characteristic fruit and mineral aroma, a firm structure, lush midpalate, and a dry long fruity finish. With its lovely aromatics and mouthfeel, good acid/fruit balance, and complex minerality, this wine is ideal to drink right now and can also be saved for mid-term aging in the cellar.” Try this excellent white with summer salads, roast pork, sushi, or Thai curry.


Winery Description

Most winemakers would feel “married to the job,” but Dashe Winery, founded and run by husband and wife team Michael and Anne Dashe, gives new meaning to “labor of love.” Michael studied at UC Davis and gained experience at Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Far Niente and Ridge Vineyards, among others, while Anne trained at the University of Bordeaux and worked at Ch. La Dominique as well as in the Napa Valley. A shared passion for wine brought Michael and Anne together and led them to start the winery just months after getting married in 1996. But what they really shared was a desire to create something new: California wines with a European personality. Their wines would be made “naturally,” so they would express the pure flavors of their fruit and the terroir of the vineyards. 

 A small 10,000 case winery, Dashe Cellars has not followed the typical script of a wine country start-up. They do not own any vineyards, preferring to obtain grapes through long-term contracts with growers of older, low-yielding vineyards in the cooler appellations of Sonoma County. And the winery is located in downtown Oakland – with neither a barn nor tractor in sight. Yet these decisions have allowed them to focus on perfecting an artisinal approach to winemaking, including small-lot fermentation, the use of indigenous yeasts, and little-or-no fining or filtration. They also seek to limit the influence of oak on their wines by using large-format oak vessels including 900-gallon foudres and 120-gallon puncheons, as well as older traditional French barrels. 

 Ultimately, where the story of Dashe Cellars has really moved off script has been in styling a new personality for an old California stalwart, Zinfandel. While their portfolio includes Grenache, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Riesling, it emphasizes single-vineyard Zinfandel. Yet Michael and Anne Dashe have refuted the belief that great California Zin must be massive and port-like in alcohol content. Not one Zinfandel among their current releases reaches 15% in alcohol; these wines emphasize balance, elegance and perfume over power, and (refuting another notion about the power and preferences of critics) they are routinely awarded high scores. In a recent blog post, Michael Dashe set down his goal for this archetypal California grape, saying “Zinfandel needs to compete—and should compete—on the world stage, with other great varietals from other countries. It needs to taste good on its own, with fruit, acidity, alcohol, and structure all in balance.”

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Potter Valley (Mendocino)
Winery Dashe
Vintage 2021
Color White
Varietal(s) Riesling
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 7.5 x 33.5
Case Size 33.0 x 24.5 x 34.5
Alcohol 12.2%
Product Code MD21RSL
UPC 654884805000

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

Pale yellow gold in the glass. Aromas of pear and apricot, with hints of citrus, spice, and chalk lead to a crisp entry of pear, grapefruit, and apricot that’s classic Riesling. The wine is medium-bodied and dry; on the finish, minerality and more spice linger on with the citrus and stonefruit notes.



Handpicked grapes were pressed gently and slowly in order to intensify the fruit flavors. The fermentation on native yeasts was carried out in stainless steel tanks. The wine aged on its lees for texture and complexity and was bottled in February - around 5 months after the harvest. 

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