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Dessert Wine in Sonoma?

Heading up to Sonoma Valley this weekend for some christmas shopping/recreation. Looking in particular for some great dessert wine to give as gifts. Anyone know of tasting rooms/wineries in the area with standout bottlings? Thanks!

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  1. Picked up a bottle of late harvest Sauv Blanc from Merry Edwards for $39 over Thanksgiving weekend that was very tasty. It was more of a pet project for them, Merry decided last minute to keep a couple acres in 2008 as a late harvest so there is not a large quantity of it. They did not bring it out as part of a standard tasting but we saw it on the bottle list and requested a taste.

    Full disclosure: I know VERY little about dessert wines - I typically only drink them at restaurants once a month or so but I liked this one enough to have this be my first dessert wine purchase and it could be a more unique dessert wine to give as a gift due to the small quantity.

    1. I like the Moscato at Jacuzzi.

      As it's large and free to taste, it can get crowded on weekends, but it's pretty well-staffed, and I've always had an enjoyable experience there.

      Of course, the drive up to Praeger Port in Napa/St. Helena is totally worth it and the $15 tasting fee.

      1. Found a very interesting possibility, a Petite Sirah dessert wine by Ty Caton. Anyone had it?
        Muscardini Cellars & Ty Caton Vineyards Tasting Room
        8910 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA

        1. I thought the White Port from Wellington was quite nice. Also liked the Late Harvest Zin from Loxton. Both places also make a regular port.

          1. I'm not sure if you're talking about visiting Sonoma County wine country more generally, or the Sonoma Valley AVA specifically, but...we liked Dashe's 2007 and 2008 Late Harvest Zins. The grapes for these wines came from the Dry Creek Valley AVA, in which the (cheesy) tasting
            room they share with some other wineries is located.

            Dashe's current offerings:
            http://www.dashecellars.com/wines.html

            Sonoma tasting room information:
            http://www.familywines.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: hohokam

              Haven't tasted Dashe's late harvest zin for a few vintages, but have liked it in the past. Bright enough acidity to balance the sweetness and keep the wine from being too sugary.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Sounds like they're still doing what they were doing best then. We were definitely impressed with the complexity we found in both the 2007 (served to us at Noca in Phx) and the 2008 (sampled at the tasting room).

            2. Those all sound great, thanks guys! Anyone know of somewhere (other than merry edwards) with good options for dessert whites?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Stewgs

                Has anyone had Ledson dessert whites?
                http://www.ledsonwinery.com/wines/ind...

                1. re: Stewgs

                  Arrowood has several late harvest rieslings.

                  1. re: bayareabeagle

                    I can't recommend Arrowood's variety of Late Harvests highly enough. They are doing full botrytis wines of exceptional value and quality.

                    Big, big thumbs up!

                2. Late-Harvest:
                  Ferrari Carano's Eldorado Gold, Williams Selyem Muscat Canelli and Late-Harvest Johannisburg Riesling, numerous Rieslings by Arrowood (as mentioned), Ridge Late Harvest Zin, Bella Late Harvest Zin ***, Chateau St. Jean -- several late-harvest Rieslings.

                  Port:
                  Trentadue Zinfandel Port ***, St. Francis