75% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Chardonnay
100% Miller Ranch
In the glass, the wine has a golden luster. Aromatically vibrant with all-spice, ripe peach, hazelnut, and crème brulee. Concentrated peach fruit and honey flavors with an underlying mineral note that makes this wine seem fresh not cloying.
For late-harvest wines, the season really begins after all the other grapes have been picked. At that point, Semillon, the principal variety of the blend, might have 20° or 21° of sugar, low acid, and bland flavors. But if the weather cooperates, as it did in 2010, this humble grape can turn into something sublime. Over the next month to six weeks, if there are alternating periods of moisture and dry conditions, spores of the noble rot, botrytis cinerea, begin to grow and perforate the thin skin of Semillon grapes, shrinking the berries, concentrating the sugar and acid.
Slow, careful hand-harvesting of botrytis-affected clusters took place in mid- November, with all hands on deck. Crews, including the winemaking staff from the winery, first passed through the vineyard removing any clusters or berries with sour rot or undesirable molds. Then we took a second pass, carefully picking clusters affected by the noble rot, their berries turned soft, deliciously sweet, and spicy. The yield was exceedingly small. Then the fruit was very gently pressed and settled until the juice was a beautiful golden color, and then fermented in brand-new barrels and aged for nearly a year and a half.