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Joseph Phelps Eisrebe (375ML) 2013

Other Dessert from Napa Valley, California
  • WE94
    8% ABV
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      8% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      The 2013 Eisrebe has aromatic layers of honey, apricot, marmalade and tropical fruits. The texture is viscous with flavors of peach, lemon meringue and vanilla creme brulee that tie in perfectly with the fresh, bright and lingering palate.

      In 1994, the desire to produce an "ice wine," or Eiswein, as it is called in Germany, prompted Joseph Phelps Vineyards to adopt a unique program whereby Scheurebe grapes would be picked late in the season and then frozen, thus concentrating their high sugar levels. The resulting wine was called "Eisrebe," a play on the German words Eis (ice) and Rebe (vine).

      Although German Eiswiens are produced from fruit that is actually picked frozen on the vine, we found that by freezing the grapes ourselves we could fashion a delicious dessert wine that is viscous and smooth, with excellent acidity to balance the sweetness.

      Critical Acclaim

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      WE 94
      Wine Enthusiast
      Light and floral, this subtle dessert wine is made from Scheurebe grapes, more often found in Austria than California. It provides this wine with fresh apricot and honey on the palate, lingering yet low enough in alcohol and power to be enjoyed as either apéritif or digestif, its sweetness greatly restrained.
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      Joseph Phelps

      Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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      Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
      Video of winery

      Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

      Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking.

      Napa Valley

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      One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

      The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

      Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

      Other Dessert

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      Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

      Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

      Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

      Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

      RRM64739_2013 Item# 131163