This outstanding example of botrytized semillon has complexity to spare. The nose is filled with aromas of apple juice, honeysuckle and orange zest with hints of almond. Rich and unctuous, the palate offers apple and pear cider, marzipan and orange zest while the finish is light, clean and crisp with hints of cream and dried apricots.
“The noble rot” found in the vineyards of France’s Sauternes district is responsible for creating the extraordinary late-harvest wines of the same name. Botrytis cinerea develops on many fruit types around the world, but the heavy overnight mist generated by Bordeaux’s Ciron River is the ideal catalyst. The fungus shrivels the grapes (usually semillon, sauvignon blanc or muscadelle) to foster distinct characteristics in the sweet golden wines.
Lucksinger Vineyards is a 100-acre planting set at nearly 1,500 feet of elevation in the Big Valley district of the Clear Lake AVA. Soils consist of alluvial rocky loam and clay while the warm-to-hot days and very cool nights allow grapes to fully ripen and develop stellar levels of grape acidity.
Left on the vines through late-season storms, semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes were exposed to the sustained moisture needed to develop full botrytis. The fruit was picked at the peak of ripeness and fungal formation to ensure the development of concentrated wine aromas and flavors.