2012 J.Wilkes Santa Maria Valley Late Harvest Pinot Blanc
Eye: Golden straw with heavy, transparent legs.
Nose: Explosively sweet pear, orange-blossom honey, nectarine, cotton candy, and hints of candied hazelnut prove overwhelmingly delicious and appealing. Smelling this wine and not tasting it would prove almost impossible.
Mouth-Match: Delivers on all the amazing aromatics: super-ripe pear, peach, nectarine all wrapped up in a honey-like sweetness and viscosity-- but also shows some more delicate complexities: hints of Pacific Ocean salinity, candied tangering peel, orange blossom, black tea, a fantastic brightness, structure provided by bright moth-watering acidity that keeps the wine structured and firm. I prefer to drink 'Late Harvest' wines as dessert, but this matches beautifully with foie gras (savory) or as an accompaniment with sweets, a salted carmel tart is a fantastic match, as would be a pear tart with ginger ice cream or New York-style cheesecake. This wine can be used to dress sorbet, as well.
Age: This wine is nearly immortal. Ten years from now expect some more hazelnut and golden colors, hints of sherry. Twenty years, close to perfection for those that like aged dessert wine: nutty, sherry notes begin to take over for the bright pear and nectaring. Thirty + years, color will face to cold with a brown edge, sweetness, and sherry aromas/flavors dominate, but the wine will still show lift and structure. I would love to taste this wine at 50 and 100 years, as I believe the wine will persist well into the 22nd century if properly cellared.
Cases produced: 208