Category: Winemaker's Notes

We all find ourselves spending more time in the kitchen these days. Winter weather begs for comfort food, and with so many holiday baking recipes in the queue, it’s easy to forget how effortless and delicious a dessert wine can be.  With a savory cheese or on its own, the Arrowood Late Harvest Riesling is the ultimate treat. Here are four reasons why this wine should not be overlooked: 

  1. A little bit goes a long way. Densely concentrated and rich, the late harvest Riesling is like liquid gold.  A single glass is a dessert on its own. 
  2. Open today, enjoy throughout the week. I’m always amazed at how well this wine holds up after being opened. One bottle can easily be enjoyed over the course of a week. But for sweettooths like me, we make no promises that it will last that long. 
  3. Better with bottle age.  Our late harvest Riesling develops beautiful spice and honey notes in its maturity. Nutty and burnt caramel can develop with even more time. Stock your cellar with some of these gems and watch them evolve. 
  4. Labor of love.  As the name suggests, harvesting late into the winter months allows the grapes to dehydrate, which concentrates and intensifies the flavor. But the longer the fruit stays on the vine, the more it is at risk for rot. A tedious selection process takes place to keep only the healthy and flavorful berries. It then takes hours upon hours to press the juice out of the skins and, once the syrupy liquid is released, it undergoes a slow and methodical fermentation.   

Tasting Notes -- 2001 Special Select Late Harvest Hoot Owl Creek Vineyard White Riesling 

Aromas of peach cobbler, pecan butter, honey and hazelnut make me dream of the perfect dessert. But I’m pretty sure the perfect dessert is right here in this glass. The palate is decadent and even more complex than the nose. There is so much going on from the dense sucrocity, backbone of acidity and intense experience of sweet nuttiness that evolves during the entire journey on the palate. Paired with a very special cheese recommended by Sharon, our local cheese expert at Pacific Market in Sebastopol, CA, Rogue River Blue cheese from Rogue River creamery in Oregon did not disappoint!  This pairing was over the top with intensity at every angle, balancing the very best of savory and sweet. I highly recommend finding a nice blue cheese and trying it out for yourself!