Lafite to Ridge to Dashe
Thanks to placements on the list at The French Laundry and a recent write-up in the New York Times, the luscious, juicy reds of Mike and Anne Dashe are notoriously difficult to obtain. As Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote, “One of my favorite under-the-radar wineries for a number of years has been Dashe. The prices are reasonable, the quality high, and the wines filled with personality.” The 2015 Dashe Cellars The Comet Red Blend ticks all of Parker’s boxes, delivering plush and expressive dark-fruit, vibrancy, and length at an excellent value. At $34.99, our 240 bottles won’t last long.
In 1989, Mike Dashe left a harvest internship at Château Lafite-Rothschild in Bordeaux and immediately landed a job under Paul Draper at Ridge Winery. Over the course of the next decade, Dashe not only perfected Draper’s non-interventionist approach to winemaking, but also developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the old-vine plantings in Sonoma. Under the Dashe Cellars label, Mike combines his expertise with that of his wife Anne, a graduate of the University of Bordeaux’s famed enology program.
The Dashes craft astonishing, small-lot cuvees in their “city” winery in Oakland. While always rich, ripe, and juicy, Dashe wines are never marred by over-extraction or astringency. Instead, they match exotic wild-berry intensity with Left Bank cut, finishing with remarkably age-worthy persistence.
The 2015 Comet is a case in point, crafted from pristine Sonoma fruit: a spectacular lot of Petite Sirah from Alexander Valley, as well as a 51-year-old parcel of Zinfandel and a 130-year-old parcel of Carignan off of Todd Brothers Ranch in Geyserville. The 2015 Comet marries lushness with vibrancy; pepper and mint complexity with well-integrated oak. This small production cuvee could certainly carry a higher price tag, but thanks to its under-the-radar status it won’t break the bank. Stock up and don’t let the secret out.