2016 Dashe Late Harvest Zinfandel (375ml)

2016 Dashe Late Harvest Zinfandel (375ml)

¥4,730 (incl. tax)

Dashe Cellars’ Late Harvest Zin proves that Zinfandel may be the world’s most versatile grape, capable of producing quaffable rosés, elegant clarets, high-octane bruisers, and dessert wines like this, in which natural sweetness is retained in the wine (rather than converted into alcohol) to produce a magical libation of intense raspberry, blackberry, chocolate and spice. The secret to this wine lies in the Lily Hill Vineyard in northern Dry Creek Valley. Because the vines struggle to survive in the shallow, rocky soils, they produce just small amounts of concentrated fruit. When the grapes are harvested about a month later than usual, the sugars and sweet fruit flavors are potent yet balanced with beautiful acidity. As a result, this dessert wine is decadently sweet yet focused and crisp. 

Winery


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) Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)
Winery Dashe
Vintage 2016
Color Dessert
Varietal(s) Zinfandel
Closure Cork
Volume 375ml
Bottle Size 6.0 x 26.0
Case Size 26.5 x 20.0 x 27.0
Alcohol 14.2%
Product Code MD16LHZx
UPC 654884401059

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

Reddish purple in color, intense aromas swirl in the glass: black raspberry, cherry and pomegranate as well as cocoa, vanilla and floral notes of lavender and violets. The mouth is richly textured and full of succulent berry flavors nuanced with dark chocolate and spice. A bright acidity cuts through the rich texture, making the wine sweet but not cloying. 

Production


Vinification

Late harvested grapes (at 40° brix) were fermented on natural yeasts. The fermentation stopped by itself when the alcohol reached about 14%. The wine aged for eight months in neutral oak and bottled without filtering or fining.

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