When is too much too much? Should you “gild the lily” and serve (yet more) wine with your rich, decadent dessert course? Heck yeah! Especially if the wine matches up in quality and complexity. Greg’s Chocolate Frozen Mousse Cake has met its match in the 2010 Hawk and Horse Vineyards ‘Latigo’ Dessert Wine.
An alluring deep crimson red in the glass, the wine offers dusky floral notes, smoke and cocoa on the nose. A sip reminds you of the first bite into a chocolate covered cherry– creamy, sweet and fruit-filled. After the initial endorphin rush you discover additional layers of flavors: classic Cabernet currant fruit, “cigar box” and a high note of caramel from 26 months spent aging in new French oak barrels. The tannins, while most assuredly there in force, are smooth, and there’s sufficient acidity to prevent any sense of cloying sweetness. The smoky quality you discerned on first whiff complements the unexpected hit of pepper in Greg’s dessert. Furthermore, the dense texture of the frozen mousse cake is mirrored in the rich fortified wine. Luxury in balance.
The Hawk and Horse Vineyards ‘Latigo’ Dessert Wine’s production is also in balance. I had the pleasure of spending some time with owner Mitch Hawkins recently. He clearly communicated his love of farming and the care he and his wife Tracey put into sustaining their land. Their location in the Red Hills AVA in Lake County is well suited to the practice of biodynamic farming. The vineyards are surrounded by old growth forest and are gravity fed by mountain springs. The volcanic soil offers up “Lake County Diamonds” (quartz-like silica) which has metaphysical energy. The Hawkins’s complete this closed loop ecosystem with Highlander cattle for natural “fertilizer” and of course horses for riding and hawks to control the rodent population.
Mitch mentioned that “it’s all about site for me” and that the land directed them to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, and only Cabernet Sauvignon. Their award-winning dry Cabs are just as carefully crafted, elegant and compelling. There is something to be said for Hawk and Horse Vineyards’ focus and pride of place. KEN
I received samples of Hawk and Horse Vineyards wine in order to do this pairing. All opinions are my own.
Price $45 for a 375 ml bottle, $85 for a 750 ml bottle
Also pairs well with chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, coffee, chocolate mousse, chocolate pot de creme, cigars (I’ve heard).
- Category Red Wine
- Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
- Region Napa Valley CA