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I got this bottle of dessert wine from a friend, it turns out to be a very generous one at that.  This is a delicious sweet wine that screams Sauternes, needs a dollop of vanilla ice cream and would totally sort out some foie gras.  The wine is a blend of mainly Semillon (61%) with the balance being Sauvignon Blanc.  The grapes are left to hang until super ripe with Botrytis Cinerea (Noble Rot) taking hold to further sweeten the grapes.  This particular vintage weighs in at 14.3% alcohol and a manageable 13% Brix of residual sugar.  What this means is that the wine is not overly sweet on  my palate.

The bottle is capped in a dark yellow wax, the same color as the wine.  It pours with an almost syrupy texture which translates to a really smooth unctuous mouthfeel.  It begins with stewed Apricots, honey and walnuts on the nose, very inviting indeed.  The first sip was nirvana for me, having just finished a feast of Filet Mignon with a bottle of 1997 Musar. The wine shows a gentle sweetness with honeyed apples and more apricot jam.  Nuts and a touch of the wood come through on the mid plate where I made note that the Botrytis was ‘balanced’.  I have no idea what I meant but it sounded good at the time.  The Sauvignon Blanc contributes a nice acidic component that balances the whole package out nicely.  Moxie and I polished half the 500ml bottle off in no time, saving the rest for tonight.  I can’t wait to see it’s evolution overnight as the cork fell out letting it aerate thoroughly.

Very pricy at $89 and only available at the cellar door in Calistoga or by mail.  I loved it and am going with 93 points and 4 stars for the effort.  You won’t find excellent dessert wines for a steal, they are in a league of their own.  This example happens to be really good and worthy of it’s lofty price if you have a special occasion and really enjoy this style of wine, which I do.  Salut….

castello di amorosa il passito