Thursday, November 21, 2019

SBC Dessert Wine, From Santa Ynez Valley

This bottle of dessert wine had been lying about for a couple of years, since Denise and our friend Guido landed at the Casa Dumetz tasting room in Los Alamos.  I had tried it back then, liked it, but never got around to popping the cork on the one we brought home.

Sonja Magdevski is a self-described journalist-turned-winemaker, although that journey has spanned her years.  She told me in 2017 that she started with a small patch of grapevines, before having a revelation.  While trying to put some blends together a couple of years ago, Magdevski says she discovered that she was trying to do something the fruit "didn't want to do."  She then realized that "you can't control nature."  She decided to concentrate on varietal wines, often single-vineyard efforts that showcase the diversity of Santa Barbara County's various climates and terroirs.

Magdevski says she sources such a small amount of grapes that "the fruit has to be great."  As for working in an area which sports at least 50 different grape varieties, she said "I can't even name 50 grapes."  She produces a very limited amount of wine – most of which is sold through their tasting room in Los Alamos.

The 2013 Casa Dumetz Late Harvest Viognier is from her ground, grapes, grit line.  It was made from grapes grown in the Estelle Vineyard in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley.  Put simply, the wine rocks.  It is sweet, but not cloying, with earthy apricot and floral elements.  Its nose shows a full blast of stone fruit, draped in a cloak of sweet oak spice.  The palate is rich and honeyed, the mouthfeel smooth and viscous, the acidity lively and ready for pairing with sweet or savory foods.  Alcohol tips at 14.3% abv and, if memory serves, the small bottle cost about $30, but it is almost certainly no longer available.

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