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Sunday, August 08, 2010

2007 R.A. Harrison Family Cellars "Nobility"

The 2007 R.A. Harrison Family Cellars "Nobility" is a fantastic example of the kind of quality dessert wine that can be made in California. It's a small production (333 cases, 375 ml bottles) late harvest Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon.  (78% Sauvignon Blanc - Napa County,  22% Semillon - Sonoma County)

The Nobility fruit was harvested on November 16th and 29th, 2007, with a brix level of 35.5. The juice for this wine was fermented in small French Oak barrels and held to age for 19 months.

As you can tell from the picture I just snapped, I have quite a hard time holding back on these type of wines. When asked what my favorite type of wine is I almost immediately shout out either Sauternes or Champagne.... I love dessert wines made in this style and am intrigued by the use of Botrytis cinerea "Noble Rot" to aid in the effort to bring forth this magical concoction!

Immediately upon opening this bottle I notice the amazing bouquet of intense dried apricot, sweet fig, orange marmalade, vanilla, honey, and a hint of spice and ginger bread. This wine has stunning aromatics with a broad range of complexity and an intoxicating spiciness.

On the palate the wine is thick and slightly oily with a nice spiciness the extends from the mid-palate through the finish. The rich honey and sweet fig flavors combine with layers of apricot marmalade, vanilla, spicy botrytis, toasted oak, and an underlining mineral component. The finish is extremely long.......

There is sufficient acidity to help this wine stay balanced, which I think is key in producing wines of this quality with such a high sugar content. Many California vintners try to emulate the great wines of Sauternes but often fall short of reaching this type of complexity and balanced acidity. With exception of only one other producer in Napa Valley, this wine eclipses every other domestic dessert wine I've tasted in my wine career. 95+ points

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