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The Late Harvest Magic of Dolce Napa Valley

12.06.21

The Late Harvest Magic of Dolce Napa Valley

After seven years spent aging to absolute perfection, our 2014 Dolce Napa Valley is releasing just in time for glamorous gifting and midnight toasts. Just what is it that makes Dolce so prized, not to mention a favorite holiday wine?

What began in 1985 as a small batch wine modeled after the sought-after Sauternes of Bordeaux has evolved into the pinnacle in late harvest winemaking in America. From the berries picked, individually, by hand, to the three years each vintage spends in the Dolce caves aging in new French oak, there’s no single magic ingredient, rather, it’s all in the hundreds of tiny, intentional details.

“This is Dolce, California’s bar-setting late-harvest white from Far Niente.” - Sara Schneider, The Robb Report

The Key to Dolce Napa Valley? The Revel's in the Details:

  1. Location: Nestled at the base of Napa’s Vaca Mountains, Dolce’s 20-acre Semillon vineyard is protected from the prevailing winds, so autumn’s damp morning fogs – a key to the development of Botrytis cinerea – drapes the vines until mid-day.
  2. The Bloom of Botrytis: Botrytis cinerea blooms only in very specific conditions. When Semillon clusters become wrapped in this “noble rot,” amazing things happen. Chiefly: sugars get intensified, textures and flavors develop added complexity.
  3. Utmost Care: Winemaker Greg Allen calls it the Dolce Waiting game. By October, every single vineyard in the Napa Valley has been harvested. Except one. Greg is waiting for the botrytis bloom to “light up the vineyard” (sometimes that doesn’t happen until Thanksgiving!). After months of waiting patiently, Greg and his team handpick every block, not just cluster by cluster, but berry by berry. Sometimes, only one berry from a cluster will make the cut!
  4. Uncompromising Materials: Our finest lots are aged in 100% French oak in the ideal conditions of our winery caves. Locked behind gates inscribed with Dolce, each lot spends 32-36 months developing silken textures and luxurious fruit flavors. After three years in barrel, Greg handpicks the best barrels to go into bottle, where they will continue to develop complexity and richness for an additional one to four years before release.

Ready to explore the brilliant world of Dolce? Dip into our full library of late harvest vintages, watch Winemaker Greg Allen share his behind-the-scenes insights into Dolce, or indulge in the holiday release of the 2014 Dolce Napa Valley.

“From the tropical and apricot flavors to the notes of vanilla crème brulee to the silky, satisfying finish, the 2014 Dolce is a late harvest wine of the highest caliber. It’s brilliant in its complexity, with bright, natural acidity that give it an exuberant – and irresistible – freshness now, yet will allow it to develop richness and elegance for decades to come.” – Greg Allen, Dolce Winemaker

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