2016 King Cake Red Dessert Wine
Our Small Lot Collection wines are the result of years of experience tasting the mosaic of different and distinct individual blocks on our Bell Mountain Estate ranch. As we cull through and taste each lot, specific micro blocks speak to us. These limited offerings are handcrafted with our 100% estate-grown organic grapes that benefit from our sustainable farming approach.
This Port-style wine is named in honor of one of Chris and Ames’ favorite New Orleans traditions – the king cake, which is present at every gathering in the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. As alumni of Tulane University, this always brings back fond memories for them. We select our very ripest fruit to make this wine and arrest the fermentation by adding high proof spirits. The result is a rich elixir ideal for enjoying with a king cake or after any scrumptious meal.
The 2016 King Cake Dessert Wine was sourced from blocks with exceptional western sun exposure lending more pronounced ripe fruit flavors and handpicked at the tail end of harvest. This wine offers concentrated fruit aromas of freshly baked blackberry and boysenberry pie, as well as leather and seaspray. On the palate, the sweetness is balanced by acid tension that keeps the finish sleek and not cloying. The finish is long and luxurious, ending with an aftertaste of dried figs. In keeping with King Cake tradition, perhaps the person who has the last sip gets good luck for the year and hosts the next party.
The 2016 vintage began with a warm spring and some late rains that gave us an early budbreak and enough water to provide good early season vine growth despite being in the tail end of a severe drought. June and July were warmer than usual, but when we approached the key ripening months of August and September, the weather cooled significantly, allowing a slow approach to maturity. These conditions favor good fruit development without excessively high alcohol. Exactly the kind of wine we love to make.