Hill Family Estate N.O.T.G. Late Harvest White Wine 2018, Napa Valley, California

“The 2018 Late Harvest N.O.T.G. (Nectar of the Gods) comes from Watson Vineyard, high in the hills above American Canyon in south Napa. Cool breezes and frequent fog make a late harvest possible here even when other areas of Napa become too warm. Persistent botrytis developed in the Sauvignon Blanc, and as the season went on, the sugars continued to rise and concentrate. The clusters were so shriveled down that all grapes were foot-stomped in the harvest boxes when we brought them in on November 7. Brix levels reached 36.4% after pressing the next morning, and the juice was inoculated with VL3 yeast and allowed to slowly ferment, until it slowed and stopped in late December, when it was chilled and filtered to 3 barrels. The result, after six months in barrel, is pretty amazing, with its dramatic botrytis character and ‘sauvage’ exotic aromas. We added a small amount of Viognier to capture and hold the wine’s balance. It should age gracefully for years, mellowing out a bit from its present exuberance. The N.O.T.G has a tangy nose with aromas of tangerine and nectarine from the concentrated botrytis. After time in the glass, orange honey and Meyer lemon peel begin to appear. The palate is loaded with honey, sour lemon drop, lovely white sage and white peach. The big rich tangy texture, balanced acidity, and a persistent finish make this wine a dessert in itself.