Dolce Wine

Todd Coleman

In each sip of this sunny dessert wine from the Napa Valley, an almost cotton candy sweetness gives way to a damp-forest undercurrent that blooms into sensations from fruity to dry, lush to acidic. It's so complex, you've got to wonder at the magic that produced it. As it turns out, the wine is made by leaving plump semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes to shrivel on the vine, where the scourge of other vineyards, the mold botrytis, or "noble rot," takes hold of them, concentrating sugars and imparting a unique richness. The result is a libation we love as an aperitif with salty charcuterie, as well as with cheese or a tart at meal's end.