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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2009 Albariño - Beso del Sol (Dessert Wine)
Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Ynez Valley

2009 Albariño - Beso del Sol (Dessert Wine)

Technical Details

100% Albariño

Vineyard Sources:
Clover Creek Vineyard

Production: 47 cases
Alcohol by volume: 11.9%
pH: 3.36
Titratable acidity: 0.66g/100ml
Cellaring potential: 2 to 3 years
Bottle price: $28

My approach to winemaking has always started in the vineyard, which is to say that I let the grapes tell me how I should make the wine. Beso Del Sol, the Spanish translation for “kissed by the sun,” is the most recent illustration of my approach to winemaking.

The 2009 harvest season started off as normal until the first week of September when our area experienced a three day heat spell with temperatures reaching well over 100°. The canopy of leaves was insufficient to shade the clusters on the south facing side of the vines and the intense heat literally scorched many of the clusters, desiccating the berries.

On the day of harvest I instructed the crew to drop the raisined clusters to the ground to avoid including these overripe grapes. Once picking had begun, I walked ahead of the crew to taste some of these dessicated berries and to my surprise they were delicious. I had expected them to taste unripe and perhaps even sour. I took the risk of leaving the sun-kissed fruit on the vines to let them ripen even further. Nine days later these grapes were harvested at a sugar level of 31 Brix.  Upon pressing the grapes it was evident that the juice had tremendous flavor and I was relieved that the risk had paid off. The wine fermented in stainless steel drums and when the sugar level of the juice dropped to approximately 12% sugar, the fermentation was stopped. The resultant nectar is delicately sweet with great natural acidity.

Beso Del Sol is amber-gold in color with aromas of ripe peaches and honey. On the palate the rich blend of poached pears and peaches drizzled with honey combines perfectly with the wine’s naturally high acidity.  The acidity plus the low alcohol content make for a lighter bodied, more delicate dessert wine than normally produced.

This wine would be enjoyable as an aperitif, or paired with a dessert such as cheesecake topped with poached pears or peaches.

It is with great pleasure that we offer this rare and unique wine for your enjoyment.

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