AG Pick: Dry Creek Vineyard 2005 Soleil

I’m not sure how I was able to wait more than a year to open a bottle of the 2005 Soleil from Dry Creek Vineyard that’s been sitting in my wine fridge.  Perhaps I was a little bit worried I had built it up too much in my head.  Would I still find it as good as when I tried it last summer at Dry Creek’s tasting room?

2005 SoleilFortunately my fears were unnecessary.  The Soleil was even more delicious than I remembered.

The Soleil is a late harvest wine made with 62% Sauvignon Blanc and 38% Semillon from Sonoma County.  It underwent barrel fermentation and spent 15 months in French oak.  For a sweet wine it has a surprisingly high alcohol percentage, 13.5 percent.

Soleil, French for sun, is a perfect name for this wine.  It’s brilliant gold in color and smells like sunshine in a glass.  Intoxicating aromas of vanilla, rose petal, honey and apricot invite you to take a sip.  On the palate are flavors of sweet apricot, white peach, jasmine and vanilla, which are balanced out by crisp Asian pear.

The wine is rich in texture while still delicate, with a luxuriously silky mouthfeel.  Gentle acidity preserves the upbeat and sweet characteristics of the wine while preventing it from feeling heavy or syrupy.  It’s a dessert wine that will convert non dessert wine fans.

The 2005 Soleil is perfect as an after dinner drink and can be enjoyed with fresh fruit, dessert, or on its own.

A 375 ml bottle of the Dry Creek Vineyard 2005 Soleil costs $25.