Making great wine is a special gift. Those who can do it are to be admired for their ability. Those who can make a special dessert wine have a little something extra in the admiration bank.
Stephen Pessagno’s passbook in that bank must be bulging. Pessagno makes small quantity wines from single vineyards in Monterey and San Benito Counties, all estate grown. His Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is a Sauternes-styled wine made from grapes affected by Botrytis Cinerea, or the noble rot.
The Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc has a harvest brix of 48 and a residual sugar of 18.4%. This is definitely a sweet wine. But a 13.5% abv number is an indication there’s something more going on.
The nose shows pear juice, even pear cobbler aromas, and a pineapple candy profile. The sweet custard and caramel flavors are a delight, but it’s not just a sweetie - the acidity is almost bracing and can match any dessert you may put next to it. Why waste a dessert, though? This wine is dessert enough on its own.
The suggested retail price is $35 for a half-bottle, so it's a splurge wine. But it’s so splurge-worthy.