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2009 Morlet Family Vineyards Late Harvest Semillon Billet Doux Alexander Valley (half bottle)
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90 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2012

(50% noble rot and 47 grams per liter of dry extract, according to Morlet; 90% semillon, 9% sauvignon blanc and 1% muscadelle):  Deep yellow-gold.  High-toned aromas of orange marmalade, apricot and white raisin.  Thick, large-scaled and honeyed, with a slight phenolic edge to the flavors of apricot, quince, nougat and wildflower.  This chewy but slightly aggressive sweet wine finishes with a note of honeycomb.  Morlet told me that the 2010 version of this wine was made from 100% nobly rotten berries.

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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Semillon is a paradoxical grape, as much of its appeal stems from its susceptibility to rot. Sure, the idea of rot may conjure up nasty images, but in winemaking, rot isn't necessarily a negative. Grapes can be affected by two types of rot: grey rot and noble rot, also known as Botrytis. While the former is a destructive force, diminishing yields and making wines taste...
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