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Our Wines at Family Wineries Cooperative Tasting Room Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg California

Sonoma County Wine Country

Dashe Cellars
 

2016 Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg - Black Bart Cuvee - Dashe Cellars
The 2016 vintage featured warm and dry conditions, perfect for even ripening of these young grapes. We picked the grapes at an ideal ripeness for a balance of acid and mature flavors and pressed the grapes to a concrete fermenter immediately on arrival at the winery. As is our style, we fermented the grapes on the native yeasts found on the grape skins. After a slow, 4 week fermentation we finally were able to reach dryness and we prepared the wine for bottling, to keep the freshness and liveliness of the wine intact. It has rapidly become a staff favorite, and we now look forward to many years of producing Chenin Blanc at the winery.

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2016 Dry Riesling, McFadden Farms Potter Valley - Dashe Cellars

The 2065 vintage was the earliest harvest on record, we were able to pick the fruit at the most optimum time, producing grapes with balance and great acidity. We picked the fruit early in the morning, to keep it cold, and then gently pressed it in our Italian grape press for almost three hours in order to intensify the fruit flavors without extracting any harsh seed tannin.

After pressing, the juice was allowed to settle prior to being racked into a small stainless steel tank. We bottled the wine in mid February after aging it in stainless steel tanks and having it remain on its yeast throughout the entire process. The resulting wine shows a complexity, a beautiful aroma, and a depth of flavor that makes it one of the best we have ever produced.

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2016 Dry Rose of Barbara, Dry Creek Valley - Dashe Cellars
HISTORY There is no greater joy than a sipping cool, crisp pale rose on a warm day. The lovely complex flavors of the wine, the crisp acidity balancing the round texture of the wine, and at the end, the clean, lovely, fruity finish of the wine. We love roses and have for many years since we first tasted a crisp, dry rose in the south of France, at a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, over 25 years ago. This is the first year that we have made a rose based on the Barbera varietal a grape made famous in Italy but becoming quite popular in the United States as well and it is also the first year that we dedicated a block of grapes exclusively for rose and pressed it as a rose. We found a great vineyard in the Clarksburg appellation, where the hot days are mitigated by the cool breeze and fog rolling in from the San Francisco Bay. The resulting pale salmon color, beautiful aromatics, and lovely texture of this wine just speak to us of Summer picnics and BBQs. PRODUCTION Since these grapes were picked exclusively for rose, we were able to pick early to preserve acidity, and immediately load the grapes into our membrane press. Pressing roses on their own rather than bleeding the rose from a tank of red grapes is a way to make the finest, most subtle roses. We fermented the wine on its native yeast, to obtain a distinctive wine that reflects its vineyard terroir. The wine was fermented to dryness in stainless steel and was quickly bottled in February to keep its freshness.

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2015 Grenache Blanc - Sierra Foothills, Monarch Vineyard - Dashe Cellars

Made from vines grown on the Monarch Mine vineyard, an old mining site almost 3000 feet up in the North West foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With its extremely steep slopes and bright red, rocky soil, the Monarch Mine vineyard is an ideal site to grow this rare grape varietal. The high altitude and cooler climate allow the grapes to mature while keeping a bright acidity an essential component for the creation of lively white wines.

The cool nights of the 2014 vintage produced perfectly balanced fruit, with a minerality and acid structure that we loved from the beginning. We picked the fruit early in the morning, to keep the fruit cold, and drove as quickly as possible to the winery for pressing. At the winery, we gently pressed the fruit for over two hours in order to intensify the fruit flavors without extracting any harsh seed tannin.

After pressing, the juice was allowed to settle prior to being racked into a small stainless steel tank. After almost five days, the fermentation began and we transferred 1⁄3 of the wine to 1 year-old French oak barrels for barrel fermentation. The barrel-fermented wines showed great complexity and developed a thick, velvety texture. The remainder of the wine was fermented in tank, to keep the fresh fruit flavors untouched by oak. After fermentation was complete, we finished aging in a stainless steel tank until bottling the wine in late February.

Varietals: 100% Grenache Blanc

Appellation: Sierra Foothills

Alcohol: 14.1% by vol.

Production: 340 cases

Release date: April 15th, 2016

Optimum time for consumption: 2016-2018

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2014 Ancient Vines Zinfandel, Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley, Dashe Cellars

We harvested each varietal separately into half ton picking bins. At the winery, the grapes were hand-sorted on conveyors, and then fermented using the native "wild" yeasts on the grapes. At dryness, the wines were gently pressed in a membrane press and pumped to traditional 60-gallon oak barrels. Each varietal was kept separate, and we blended the wines carefully to develop a wine with great texture, intense fruit, and lovely balance between the firm acidity and the lovely sweet and spicy fruit.

The wine was aged for 10 months in one-year or older French oak barrels to maintain the vibrancy of the fruit. As the wine aged, it deepened in color and developed a complexity and firm structure that we believe will help the wine improve with up to ten years of bottle age. This is one of our most lovely and interesting wines made at Dashe Cellars, and we look forward to making wine from the vineyard for many years in the future.

Technical Notes

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2010 Cabernet Sauvignon - Alexander Valley - Dashe Cellars
A great Cabernet Sauvignon from the wonderful Todd Brothers ranch vineyard. This is very fruit-forward with blackberry and cassis aromas, licorice, and chocolate. Rich, full bodied, and yet restrained more like a wine made in Bordeaux than one made in California I think Anne had something to do with that! Beautiful now, but can also age well.

The 2010 vintage was a cool ripening year, and produced tiny amounts of fruit. The vines, as is typical for this vineyard, produced a tiny crop of Cabernet Sauvignon, only about one and a half tons per acre which translated into only 92 cases of wine. The grapes were crushed into our smallest fermentation tank (1500 gallons) and allowed to slowly ferment using only the yeast present on the skin of the grapes. This native fermentation allows the characteristics of the vineyard shine through the resulting wine.

During fermentation the temperature was allowed to get above 90 F, to aid in the extraction of color and flavor. We let the wine stay on the fermented skins for an extended time to extract the maximum flavor and color, after which we pressed the grapes in a gentle membrane press so as not to extract dry or harsh tannins.

The wine was aged for over 30 months in 100% French oak barrels, with about 20% of the wine aged in new oak. In our blending trials, we blended Petit Verdot with the Cabernet, for spice and length of finish. A big, balanced, substantial wine, we believe that this Cabernet Sauvignon will be quite a long-lived, able to age 15 years or more.

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2013 Comet, Todd Brothers Ranch, Alexander Valley - Dashe Cellars

The Comet is a blend of three wines a 51 year old vine zinfandel from Geyserville, a 130 year old vine Carignane, and a significant proportion 39% of the blend of an Alexander Valley Petite Syrah. Together, they make a rich, complex, full bodied wine with tremendous depth of flavor and complexity. The Zinfandel and Petite Syrah come from one of our best Geyserville vineyards, a steep, red rock where the vines struggle to produce a small quantity of grapes, resulting in wines with great intensity and structure. The old vine carignane is from the famous Bedrock Vineyard, a vineyard that was originally planted by Generals Sherman and Hooker after the Civil War. This stellar wine is ideal wine for grilled meats, hearty stews, and rich sauces truly a steak house wine.

We fermented each element of the wine separately, using the native yeasts resident on the grape skins. Each wine was aged for six months separately before we carefully created the Comet blend. The wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels 85% of which was older oak since we prefer the flavor of the fruit to not be overpowered. We decided to increase the amount of Petite Sirah from previous vintages, to maximize richness, and then added 10% of Carignane as a spice rack wine to add bright fruit and complexity. The resulting wine absolutely bowled us over with its rich texture and depth of flavors. We feel this wine should easily improve with 12 or more years of bottle age, and can be cellared for many years after that.

Varietals: 51% Zinfandel, 39% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane

Appellation: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County

Alcohol: 14.4% by vol.

Time in oak: 18 months

Oak: 15% new French Oak; 85% one year or older French barrels

Production: 324 cases, 750mL

Release date: June 1, 2016

Optimum time for consumption: 2016 to 2027

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2015 Carignane Old Vine, Evangelho Vineyard - Dashe Cellars
We are incredibly excited to release our first ever bottling of Carignane from the 125 year-old Evangelho Vineyard in Contra Costa County. Though Carignane is typically blended with our Zinfandel, Mike Dashe saw (and tasted) something special in these vines and decided to bottle it on its own. With flavors bursting of cassis, spice, and minerals, we are overjoyed to welcome the 2015 Carignane to the Wild Child family!

Production Notes

Varietals: 100% Carignane

Appellation: Contra Costa County

Alcohol: 12.9% by vol.

Time in oak: 8 months

Oak: 20% 1 year old French barrels, 80% neutral French oak barrels

Production: 159 cases

Release date: 21 September, 2016

Sugg. retail price: $26.00 bottle, 750ml

Optimum time for consumption: 2016 - 2026

Tasting Notes

Color: Bright purple

Aromas: Pomegranate, cherry,plum, black pepper

Taste: Vibrant red fruit including pomegranate, black cherry, wild strawberry, as well as floral notes of rose and violets. Lush, velvety mouthfeel balanced by vibrant crisp acidity. Long, sweet finish of red fruits and spice.

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2015 Grenache Dry Creek, Les Enfante Terribles by Dashe Cellars

History The Dry Creek Valley is one of our favorite appellations, and this is an exceptional vineyard in Dry Creek a rugged, rocky, dry riverbed just north of the town of Healdsburg. The fog that flows down the valley at night chills down the vines, keeping the grapes cool and resulting in a wine that offers bright, vibrant fruit and great acidity. In 2015, the vines produced a fraction of the quantity that they normally do, so we only were able to make 337 of this lovely Grenache. Because of the way we make this wine fermented with the native yeasts on the grapes; aged in large, French oak barrels; unfined; and bottled with low SO2 levels. We felt that it deserved to be labeled with our other wines in the Les Enfants Terribles the Wild Children series, wines made in an Old World style. The resulting purity of flavor, velvety texture, and lush midpalette is a break from the brash, fruit forward style of many Californian wines.

Production As is typical with this vineyard, the grapes ripened quite late in the season and we picked the vineyard in mid October. The grapes were harvested early in the morning to keep the grapes very cold, and were then trucked 11/2 hours to the winery. Since we loved the character of the fruit, we aged the wine in one of our 900 gallon French oak casks from Burgundy (15 times the size of a normal French oak barrel). By using the larger oak vessel, we intentionally kept this wine away from heavy oak influences, and the short aging process enhanced the lovely fruit character of the wine.

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2010 Petite Sirah, Todd Bros Ranch, Alexandery Valley - Dashe Cellars
Entry shows lots of complex blackberry and black currant fruit, followed by spice, roasted herbs, chocolate, licorice, coffee, and licorice. Quite viscous mouthfeel and long, persistent finish of blackberry, chocolate, and coffee. Substantial tannins will age this wine for many years to come.

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2015 Zinfandel, Heart Arrow Ranch, Mendocino, L Enfant Terrible, Dashe Cellars
Our Les Enfants Terribles the Wild Children series of wines are made from vineyards tht we feel can make distinctive, terror-driven wines. Fermented on native yeasts, with minimal oak influence and low levels of sulfites, these wines show beautiful fruit undisturbed by unnecessary processing The essence of the vineyard shines through the resulting wine. Color: Dark purple. Taste: Raspberry and wild strawberry entry, plum, earthy and mineral, quite dry with a long, complex fruit finish and substantial tannins.

The 2015 vintage is simply one of the best and most complex examples of this wine we've ever produced. Ripening conditions in the summer and fall were sustained and warm (with a bit of a rainstorm in the middle), and we ended up with one of the most fruit-forward, dark, luscious wines we've ever produced from these vines. As with all our wines, the fermentation was conducted using the native yeasts found naturally growing on the grapes. We took away the rollers on our crusher, let the whole berries drop into the tank for fermentation, and also pitchforked 10% whole clusters into the tank. We wanted the wine to ferment inside of the berries, which produces a beautiful, fruit-forward aroma and a light, velvety texture to the wine. The wine shows excellent fruit and mineral aromas, and the wine has an absolutely beautiful texture and depth of flavor. Although this wine is beautiful to drink right now, it can improve with age as well, at least 8 years from the vintage date. After fermentation, the wine is racked into a special aging barrel a giant 900 gallon French oak barrel from Burgundy. This giant barrel is the volume of 15 standard barrels, and the large barrel format allows us to age the wine without much oak flavor in the wine. The result is a very fruit forward wine that has much of the character and texture of oak-aged wine, but without the typical oak flavoring. We only age the wine for four or five months in barrel, and then immediately bottle it to capture the fresh fruit character of the wine. The resulting wine is beautifully balanced, delicate, yet with lots of complexity and great length in the finish.

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2014 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley - Dashe Cellars

In a year with almost perfect ripening conditions, the 2014 zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley is intense, mouth filling yet very balanced a classic example of zinfandel from one of the best places in California to grow the varietal.

Technical Notes

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2013 Zinfandel - Florence Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Dashe Cellars

The Florence vineyard in the north of Dry Creek Valley is one of our favorite single vineyard sites for Zinfandel in Sonoma county. Each year, it makes exceptionally vibrant and intense zinfandel, with characteristic aromatics of lavender, violets, and thyme or lavender spice.

We used our special custom made gridded tanks to ferment the wines. These tanks, outfitted with stainless-steel grids that can be raised or lowered on top of the crushed grapes, allow us to submerge the cap of grape skins beneath the surface of the fermenting wine. We extract color, body, and complexity from the grapes without extracting too much of the drying tannins found in the seeds. The result are intense and complex wines that feel velvety and round on the tongue rather than harsh or tannic. We conducted the primary and secondary fermentation using only the natural populations of yeast and bacterias on the grapes, as always, to enhance the vineyard-specific flavors we get from these grapes. At dryness, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press and pumped to older 60-gallon French oak barrels. The wine was aged for 14 months in oak before being racked up to tank for bottling. This is an ideal wine to have with grilled lamb, intense sauces, or any other food that can stand up to its substantial fruit and acidity.

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2012 Zinfandel - Louvau Vineyard, 'Old Vines,' Dry Creek Valley - Dashe Cellars

We have been making zinfandel from these gnarled, old vines since 1998, and each year are more and more impressed with the intensity and depth of character of the wines made from these grapes.

Since this is one of the first vineyards we harvest each year, in early September, we were lucky to harvest the grapes before the rainstorms that plagued some wineries in 2011. The grapes ripened perfectly, in a difficult year, making a wine of complexity and balance. The flavors are very well integrated right now, but the wine will also age for a decade or more due to the supple tannins that balance the fruit. We were only able to make 131 cases of this wine, since the yields are always quite low on these head-trained old vines. As always, we hand-sorted the grapes on a conveyor belt on the way to the crusher to eliminate any imperfect fruit. The crushed grapes were then fermented using only the natural yeast population on the surface of the grapes rather than commercial dried yeasts to conduct the fermentation. At dryness, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press and pumped to traditional 60-gallon oak barrels. The wine was aged for 18 months in one-year or older French oak barrels, to keep the vibrancy of the fruit. As the wine aged, it deepened in color and developed a complexity and firm structure that we believe will help the wine improve with up to ten years of bottle age.

Black raspberry and chocolate on entry. Great texture and mouthfeel, showing a complexity and balance even in its youth. Long, spicy, fruit-driven finish. The depth of flavors, good acidity, and round tannins will make this quite a long-aging wine.

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2014 Zinfandel, Old Vines, Todd Brothers Ranch, Alexander Valley - Dashe Cellars
History

This is a big, lush, and rich vintage of the Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel, which is no surprise given that 2014 was an exceptional harvest. These stellar 55 year-old head-trained vines in Geyserville consistently produce some of our best and most age-worthy Zinfandel bottling.

The perfect growing conditions, small berry size, and moderate yields resulted in a Zinfandel that is almost Cabernet Sauvignon-like in intensity and structure, but with the balance and sensuous texture of a Zinfandel.

Production

We picked the grapes in early September and trucked them to the winery in half ton picking bins. After hand-sorting the fruit, we fermented the juice using the native yeast on the surface of the grapes. At dryness, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press and pumped into 120- and 60-gallon French oak barrels.

During blending, we added a small amount of Petite Sirah for spice and depth of flavor.

The wine was aged for 14 months in one-year-old or older French oak barrels we prefer the flavor of the fruit to not be overpowered by too much oak flavor. This wine is 100% from the Todd Brothers Ranch, and 98% Zinfandel the remaining 2% was Petite Sirah grown on the vineyard. The brightness of the wine makes it go extremely well with a wide range of foods, especially grilled meats or substantial sauces. Try it with grilled lamb the herb de provence spice should pair beautifully. We feel this wine should easily improve with eight or more years of bottle age.

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2014 Zinfandel - McFadden Farms, Potter Valley Dashe Cellars
We have not been able to make a Zinfandel from McFadden Farm since the 2011 vintage, and we are very happy to release this one from the 2014 vintage. This vineyard produced the very first wines from the Les Enfants Terribles series of wines from Dashe Cellars, and we are glad we can re introduce it to our fans.

We make this wine using a special technique called carbonic maceration. About 10 percent of the grapes are pitchforked into the tank as whole clusters. For the remaining grapes, we do not crush them and let the whole berries fill the tank. Nothing further is added to the tank, and for the next three weeks the fermentation happens with the native yeasts, inside the berries themselves. This results in a very complex wine that does not extract much color from the skins of the grapes.

After fermentation, the wine is racked into a special aging barrel a giant 900 gallon French oak barrel from Burgundy. This giant barrel is the volume of 15 standard barrels, and the large barrel format allows us to age the wine without much oak flavor in the wine. The result is a very fruit forward wine that has much of the character and texture of oak aged wine, but without the typical oak flavoring.

We only age the wine for four or five months in barrel, and then immediately bottle it to capture the fresh fruit character of the wine. The resulting wine is beautifully balanced, delicate, yet with lots of complexity and great length in the finish.

Retail Price: $28.00
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2014 Zinfandel - Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley - Dashe Cellars
2014 was one of a string of large, high-quality vintages in California. We used our custom-made gridded tanks to ferment, allowing us to submerge the cap of grape skins beneath the surface of the fermenting wine, extracting color, body, and complexity from the grapes without extracting drying tannins found in the seeds. The result is an intense and complex wine that also feels very velvety and round on the tongue. The wine was fermented using only the natural yeast population on the grapes our tradition at Dashe Cellars and the resulting wine shows off the terroir of the vineyards beautifully. The wine was aged for 10 months in older French oak barrels, including our 900 gallon French oak casks that allow us to gain the softness of oak aging without adding excessive oak flavors. In our blending trials, we added about 5% of Petite Sirah, for structure and aging potential.

4358 Cases

Technical Notes

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2014 Zinfandel, Late Harvest, Dry Creek Valley - Dashe Cellars 375 ml

This dessert wine is made from grapes grown on the Lily Hill Vineyard, owned by Bella Winery in northern Dry Creek Valley. The steep slopes and rocky soil at Bella make the vines struggle to survive, which in turn help the vines create very concentrated, complex grapes. One of the reasons that we love this vineyard is the wonderful acidity of the grapes. Even when we wait an extra four weeks to harvest the grapes, the grapes maintain their acidity. The resulting wine is focused and clear it is never cloying, and always finishes with a crisp, clean, sweet spicy note.

We harvested in mid October, and the grapes arrived at the winery right at 40 Brix of sugar. We crushed the grapes into a small 1,500 gallon tank and as is our tradition at Dashe Cellars, we fermented the grapes naturally, using the native yeasts that naturally live on the skins of the grapes. Since the grapes were super ripe, the fermentation roared off at the start, and then rapidly slowed as the yeast created over 10% alcohol. The fermentation finally sputtered to a halt when the alcohol had reached about 14% and the sugar level was slightly over 12%. We always allow the wine to achieve its balance of sweetness and alcohol naturally, by letting the fermentation finish up on its own. As is our tradition, the wine was aged in older French oak barrels to not overpower the intensity of the fruit. We decided to stay with our tradition of bottling the wine as soon as possible to maintain its fresh fruit flavors and conserve its sweet concentration and purity. The wine is unfined and received minimal handling to the bottle.

Varietals: 100% Zinfandel

Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

Alcohol: 14.1% by vol.

Residual Sugar: 12%

Time in oak: 6 months

Oak: 100% French; no new oak

Production: 424 cases, 375ml

Release date: November 1, 2015

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