2005 Arrowood White Riesling Special Select Late Harvest Hoot Owl Creek Vineyard 375 ml

Year: 2005
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Dessert Wine
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"No one in America produces more decadently rich Auslese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese-styled late harvest Rieslings than Dick Arrowood, who began making these wines when he was the winemaker at Chateau St. Jean during the decade of the seventies. These brilliant sweet wines can age exceptionally well as evidenced by some bottles in my cellar from the late seventies. While their colors now resemble molasses, they remain fresh and lively. Arrowood has hit home runs with all three cuvees in 2005. Although reminiscent of syrup, yet unbelievably fresh because of its superb acidity, the 2005 Special Select Late Harvest Riesling Hoot Owl Creek was bottled with 17.4 grams of residual sugar. In addition to its terrific acidity, it possesses wonderful honeyed flavors. This effort can be served with dessert or as dessert itself." (WA)

"This wine is so loaded with glycerine, it actually pours slow from the bottle, like honey. With 17.4 grams of residual sugar, it’s decadently, deliriously sweet, but sugar is not its only charm. There’s a fabulous flood of apricots, pineapples, peaches and limes, concentrated to their essence and geléed, enriched with pure vanilla and clover honey and dusted with cinnamon. Doesn’t that sound good? " (WE)

Winery Notes:
Three decades ago Richard Arrowood produced America's first Special Select Late Harvest Riesling. It came at a seminal point in California's vinous development, when vintners were discovering that they could indeed compete with the world's finest on an international stage. Since then Richard has gone on to produce dozens of intensely flavored dessert wines inspired by Germany's famed Trockenbeerenauslesen.

To produce a Special Select Late Harvest conditions must be perfect. Fortunately, the weather cooperated throughout the 2005 growing season. The winemaker must also be a gambler, willing to wait long enough for the development of Botrytis, or noble mold. Hoot Owl Creek Vineyards in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley has been an important source for Late Harvest Rieslings over the years. Each morning the site is blanketed by thick fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean to the west. The moisture from the fog helps with the development of Botrytis, an essential ingredient in this style of wine.

The golden color is an indication of the wine's extraordinary intensity. The nose is explosive with apricots, butterscotch and marmalade. The palate is thick, unctuous, luscious and honeyed. The supporting acidity keeps the wine lively and balanced. This is pure and absolute nectar!