We were over at our South African friend’s house for dinner and the hostess pulled this unfortified dessert gem out. I was not in much of a state to make notes, but I did scratch these down: Nose is unique- lanolin, beeswax, lemon curd, and turmeric. Orange marmalade and apricot jam are the key components on the palate. The finish is mid length, more orange notes yet the curry component still lingers. It is truly bizarre yet somewhat intriguing. I enjoyed it and appreciated the nuances of variety, the terroir differences and the subtle changes in style. 89 points from me and without any pricing info it’s hard to give it points. This Chenin Blanc is tasty and will pair beautifully with some Blue Cheese, Creme Brûlée or even some chocolate eclairs! Salut….
Gold, but a lighter shade. It looks waxy when I swirl the glass, which bodes well for a dessert wine. On the nose it is sublime- apricots, honey, candied pineapple. On the palate this wine is super smooth, somewhat oily in texture and really delicious. I get yellow stone fruits- apricots, peach jam and some honey on the initial attack. The mid palate is silky but I just realized I sense no acidity whatsoever. Glycerin comes to mind when trying to describe the texture I feel on the mid palate. The finish is somewhat dry with a hint of tannins and now I see the emergence of some acidity. Well played Mr. Winemaker, it all comes together right at the end and makes sense. The finish has great fruit notes- in addition to the apricots, there are some almond hints, orange zest and a pineapple streak. Lovely. This is a generous dessert wine that has a nice unctuous texture, plenty of fruit, a nice mouthfeel and the ability to age for decades. It is young but really enjoyable now. Drink till 2035 easily. 95 points. I paid $28 for a half bottle – 5 stars. It was my dessert after grilling the most massive Tomahawk steaks ever. Salut….
This is a Port wine made from Zinfandel grapes in California. Rich, dark purple in the glass. The nose is stewed plum and vanilla cola. The initial taste is rather abrupt- plum compote, raisins and a balsamic note. Acidic without a bite, but a touch of tannin keep this dessert wine balanced. The finish is decent in length but the flavor is rather medicinal. Its 19% alcohol is well hidden. This wine is delightful and interesting, certainly not what I was expecting. 90 points from me. I paid $22 for it which makes it a 3 star effort. Salut….
The last time I had an Australian Port was in 1999, in Sydney. It never really dawned on me to search them out. I recently got back into Port drinking and just ordered 10 different bottles to try out. This is the first of them and I am looking forward to this adventure.
In the glass it resembles it’s style-tawny… It has a brownish, purply tinge to the see-through base. The nose is nutty, with plum reduction and a hint of oak. There is a certain youth to go along with the mellowed out nuances in the nose of this aged wine. On the palate- orange marmalade, raisins and hazelnut mingle with a plum base. The wine is slightly syrupy and shows nice legs in the glass. The 18% alcohol is well masked and there is a trace of very fine grained tannins running through the mid palate and on to the long finish. Speaking of which, the finish has more of the orange notes I got on the opening as well as some oak, almond and raisin. It lasts a while, with not much sign of the alcohol at all. Overall this is a very tasty dessert wine that has aged nicely and is ready for business. I’m going with 90 points and for $19 this is a 4 star effort. Salut….
I do love me some dessert wines… I couldn’t resist this one, it got high marks and the price was right.
It started with an interesting nose of cork (not in a bad way), apricot jam and tangerine peel.
An initial taste of orange marmalade, honey and almond seeds. Golden color was intriguing. Orange peel and candied almonds hit on the middle palate and the finish gives way to the same marmalade notes I sensed on the front end. A definite botrytis tinge throughout. Best described as orange treacle. I’m going 90 points on this wine versus the pros. It’s decent, but not my favorite sticky. Pro ratings up to 93 points and costing $37, I was somewhat caught off-guard. This is a 3 star wine in my opinion and needs to be drunk before 2022. Salut….
To top off our Sunday Roast dinner I pulled this amazing beauty out of the cellar and let it loose. I had tasted the Doisy-Vedrines 2010 previously and needed an equally big night to taste this vintage. After thoroughly loving the Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon with our dinner it was appropriate to get this bottle cracking. I previously gave the 2010 95 points, how would this one hold out?
Golden yellow in the glass with a nose of honey, candied pear, botrytis and peach cobbler. Almond crisp with apricot torte and honeyed pears came in the first wave. Pineapple syrup with flowers and citrus fill the mid palate along with some pear pie, absolutely gorgeous. Sublime balance with a razor sharp acidity and 60 second finish make this a near perfect wine. Top to bottom- a smooth transition, 96 point plus for me. I noticed huge legs in the glass and had to double check the bottle, 13.5 % alcohol but nary a sign of it. One final thought….Uncious but not stuffy. I paid $22 for this stunner worthy of 5 stars. Ps. I bought all they had of the two vintages! Salut….
Last weekend I had a big tasting night planned. The Clarendon Hills Syrah was the opener. I was then planning on doing a mini vertical of this wine with a 2011. Problem is that I absolutely loved this bottle and ended up finishing it and saving the other one for another night. I laid out two cheeses to go along with the sweet dessert wines. They deserve their own blog posts- simply out of this world.The wine was poured into my Riedel dessert glass where it showed off a light golden color and had a nose of apricots, honey and almond chips. I made note of a classy smoothness with light botrytis in the initial attack. Honey and melon jam came to mind after letting the wine swirl a bit. The first sensation was of light acidity which became cutting on the mid palate. Apricot tart with a sweet minerality on the back end was a really nice way to tail it off but I was in for a surprise. I timed a rather long finish over 90 seconds which added some cloying sweetness and hazelnuts on the finale. Exquisite and worthy of 95 points from me. Here’s the bonus….. it’s only $20 and I’m buying all I can get in 375ml bottles. If you like sweet wines, this one is an absolute stunner. 5 stars for this sticky. Salut….
I got this bottle of dessert wine from a friend, it turns out to be a very generous one at that. This is a delicious sweet wine that screams Sauternes, needs a dollop of vanilla ice cream and would totally sort out some foie gras. The wine is a blend of mainly Semillon (61%) with the balance being Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes are left to hang until super ripe with Botrytis Cinerea (Noble Rot) taking hold to further sweeten the grapes. This particular vintage weighs in at 14.3% alcohol and a manageable 13% Brix of residual sugar. What this means is that the wine is not overly sweet on my palate.
The bottle is capped in a dark yellow wax, the same color as the wine. It pours with an almost syrupy texture which translates to a really smooth unctuous mouthfeel. It begins with stewed Apricots, honey and walnuts on the nose, very inviting indeed. The first sip was nirvana for me, having just finished a feast of Filet Mignon with a bottle of 1997 Musar. The wine shows a gentle sweetness with honeyed apples and more apricot jam. Nuts and a touch of the wood come through on the mid plate where I made note that the Botrytis was ‘balanced’. I have no idea what I meant but it sounded good at the time. The Sauvignon Blanc contributes a nice acidic component that balances the whole package out nicely. Moxie and I polished half the 500ml bottle off in no time, saving the rest for tonight. I can’t wait to see it’s evolution overnight as the cork fell out letting it aerate thoroughly.
Very pricy at $89 and only available at the cellar door in Calistoga or by mail. I loved it and am going with 93 points and 4 stars for the effort. You won’t find excellent dessert wines for a steal, they are in a league of their own. This example happens to be really good and worthy of it’s lofty price if you have a special occasion and really enjoy this style of wine, which I do. Salut….
A dessert style wine from Bordeaux that is golden yellow in the glass. On the nose, apricots and golden apples that move onto the palate with some honey and a touch of acidic bite. Generally decent wine, but the tinge in the mid-palate was worrisome. The wine was not overly sweet, but had a balanced residual sugar content. Dessert wines are generally pricier due to the methods involved, yet I cannot remember how much I paid for this bottle. 85 points and if it was under $20, 3 stars.