90 Points - Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine
The husband and wife winemaking team of Michael and Anne Dashe founded Dashe cellars in 1996. With experience around the wine world, including at such estates as Lafite-Rothschild, Ridge, and Cloudy Bay (among others), they decided for their own label to focus on Sonoma County Zinfandel. They believe (correctly, in our view) that Sonoma Zinfandel has a rightful place alongside the great wines of the world, and they prove it with each vintage. With a focus on low intervention winemaking and wines that are refined and balanced, they are way ahead of the trend toward lighter wines, especially in the world of Zinfandel where 16% alcohol fruit-bombs led the way in the early 2000s. Make no mistake, this still has all the fruit and richness you would expect from California, but by picking a little earlier Dashe is able to preserve freshness and the result is impeccable balanced wines.
The 2013 Dashe "Florence Vineyard" Zinfandel, offers aromas of beautiful red fruit notes of raspberry and black cherry, blending with more floral notes of lavender and violets. Wild cherry and red raspberry fruit, almost cranberry-like in vibrancy. The bright fruit flavors are followed by spice notes of thyme, rosemary, mineral, and white pepper. Finishes with persistent raspberry and cranberry fruit flavors.
Hand-sorted grapes and ferment on their native yeasts, they do not fine or manipulate the wine before bottling. The result is an intense and complex wine that feels velvety and round on the tongue, rather than harsh or tannic. In 2013, the grapes were harvested relatively early, and the bright fruit flavors were enhanced by a moderate alcohol level of 13.5%.
The wine was aged for 14 months in neutral French oak barrels, and only 302 cases were bottled. This is an ideal wine to have with tomato-based sauces, grilled meats such as lamb, or any other food that can stand up to its substantial fruit.
Varietal: 98% Zinfandel; 2% Petite Sirah
Vineyard: Florence Vineyard
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Cooperage: Barrel Aged over 14 months French Oak
Production: 302 cases
In 1996, the husband and wife winemaking team of Michael and Anne Dashe founded Dashe Cellars. Focused on crafting exceptional single-vineyard wines, Dashe Cellars blends the two winemaker’s combined 40-plus years of experience at such noted wineries as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château La Dominique, Ridge Vineyards, Cloudy Bay, Far Niente, Chappellet, and Schramsberg Wine Cellars. Drawing on this wealth of experience, the Dashes create vineyard-focused wines that capture the complexity and character of top vineyards throughout Sonoma County and beyond. To learn more visit Dashe Cellars at www.dashecellars.com.