- I don’t feature dessert wines enough. It’s a shame really. The problem is that the majority of wine drinkers (at least the ones I encounter) just don’t understand dessert wines!
I shouldn’t have to religiously state that “…dessert wines are generally meant to accompany (or even be served as) dessert…” but it seems that is continuously the case.
Sure, you can’t get home from a long day at work and rip into a bottle of late harvest dessert wine…but you’re also not supposed to!
- Dr. Donald Edmeades was known to beat to his own drum. A cardiologist from Pasadena, and whilst everyone else in the 1960’s in Mendocino was looking for gold, the doctor decided wine was more his flavor, so he started planting vines. It was of course Dr. Edmeades who got the last laugh, after very few of the miners in Mendocino ever struck gold.
- In 1972, the Edmeades family founded the winery and launched its own brand. Unfortunately Dr Donald Edmeades and his wife died of cancer within three months of each other that very same year. Their son Deron took over and was responsible for the first Edmeades vintage.
- The Edmeades winery was acquired by Jess Jackson in 1988. Instead of continuing to focus mainly on Cabernet (as was the case back then), Jackson changed the direction of Edmeades towards Zinfandel, and started sourcing grapes from the Mendocino Ridge.
- The Edmeades was aged for 16 months in oak, with a combination of 90% French (57% new), 10% American oak.
- Mendocino has quickly grown to become my favorite wine region in California. I personally find some of the most elegant Pinots in California to hail from Mendo, and if you’ve grown weary of what the “big boys” in California are producing, you may want to check it out!
- You don’t have to be a mountain goat to work the Perli Vineyard…but it helps! This is some of the most rugged terrain in all of Mendocino, often approaching a 60% gradient in some places.
- To create a late harvest Zin, the grapes are left a little longer on the vine than usual, essentially raisinating them. This leads to a higher sugar content, most of which is turned (through fermentation) into alcohol, but some residual sugar is left over. The result is a highly intense, almost port-like red wine.
- 28% of Mendocino County’s grapes used in winemaking are certified organic or Biodynamic – substantially higher than any other region in the U.S.
- The Edmeades winery was actually the first “modern-day grape grower” in Anderson Valley in 1963, when they planted 24 acres of vines.
Concentrated blackberry, raisins and spice on the nose. The flavors continue on the palate, with a touch of stewed raspberry, cassis, clove, mint, toffee and dark-bitter chocolate. This is drinking great right now, and probably wouldn’t benefit from too much more time in the bottle.
Perfect on its own as dessert in itself, but also with carrot cake, dark chocolate cake, cheesecake with dark fruit compote, chocolate soufflé or chocolate crème brulee. Late harvest Zin is one of the few wines that would also stand-up to a good cigar.