Ripe hay, vanilla, and apricot mark the nose; deep orange flavors with cinnamon spice notes and a very smooth mouthfeel are the already promising attributes of this infant. All the right elements are there, and in good balance.
Dolce Winery in Napa Valley was created in 1985 by the founders of Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel, both Napa Valley producers. The friends wanted to produce a sweet, late-harvest wine similar to Sauternes. Dolce today has a 20-acre vineyard in Coombsville, east of the city of Napa. Because of the nature of making wines from grapes that have been subjected to botrytis, a natural mold that concentrates grape sugars, Dolce does not produce a vintage every year. Dolce is made of late harvest Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Wine Spectator often awards Dolce scores in the mid to high 90s, and has called Dolce “one of California’s greatest white dessert wines.”
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,