by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery
Someone asked me last week on a tour, “It’s December, what are you doing?”
There is always something happening at the vineyard all year long. Right now, we are preparing to bottle our 2016 and 2017 vintages. Every year we have an event at the vineyard for guests to see the bottling process. It will be January 5 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. It is $49 per person and includes lunch, a glass of wine, a tour of the bottling line, and you get to take home a wine that was just bottled.
One of the wines we are bottling is very special, which is Reyes Winery’s 12-year-old Agua Dulce Delight. This port-style dessert wine is a recognition of craftsmanship. After a decade of care and slow oak maturation, we have bottled this amazing example of complex flavors and artistry in a dessert wine. This is for those who appreciate quality in every component of a wine. It has aromas of fresh figs and orange blossom honey. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah was aged in French oak barrels where over time it acquired its sophisticated notes of caramel, dates, figs and a hint of chocolate. This exceptional wine has a smooth, silky texture and subtle oak nuances that deliver a long elegant finish. Enjoy with a fig cake or a blue cheese cake.
Currently in the tasting room, we have two of our port-style wines for tasting. The rest of our port-style wines are for purchase. One of them is the Agua Dulce Delight, which came from the same original blend as our 12-year, but was bottled in 2013. It has won several awards; a silver in the 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition, plus Bronze medals in the 2014 Long Beach Grand Cru, 2015 O.C. Fair Commercial Wine Competition, and the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition. This is an older barrel-aged edition of our Agua Dulce Delight. A unique blend of award-winning wines was set aside at Reyes Winery to create this complex, full-bodied old-world style wine. Its rich spice and fruit notes have continued to evolve in French oak barrels for six years. This wine is black cherry in color, and very intense with rich and complex aromas of dark berries, figs, caramel, and anise, giving it a very special elegance. This wine pairs well with chocolate bread pudding or Stilton cheese.
We also have Sweet Serenity. It is a white wine that is also a port-style dessert wine. It has won Gold & Best in Class medals from the 2014 Long Beach Grand Cru and a Bronze from the 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. Our 2009 Muscat wine has been aged into an old-world style dessert wine and has just the right touch of wood. It has aromas of burnt caramel, dried apricots and candied ginger. It pairs with soft cheeses after dinner or cinnamon sugared zeppole.
Come try these fabulous dessert wines this month in the Reyes Winery tasting room, and don’t forget they make the perfect holiday gift!