Rich, unoaked Chenin Blanc made in an unoaked style, Florent Baumard’s wine is quite forward in style, with soft pear and ripe apple flavours, a touch of honey and some nectarine sweetness. A well priced introduction to sweet Loire wines.
Wine Type: Sweet
2010 Harvey Nichols Sauternes, Sauternes, Bordeaux( £15 per half, 14%, Harvey Nichols )
Any retailer that sources its Sauternes from Château Coutet (in Barsac) is aiming high and this is a delicious sticky from a vintage that is better known for reds than whites in Bordeaux. This is richer and sweeter than Coutet often tends to be, but it’s still a treat, with flavours of pineapple and barley sugar, medium acidity, subtle oak and rich, honeyed mouthfilling complexity.
2007 Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive, Alsace( £33.00, 13%, The Wine Society )
There’s no mistaking the grape variety of this late picked Alsace dessert wine. It’s a classic lychee and rose petal style Gewürz, with sweet apricot, pineapple and peach flavours and a hint of exotic spice. Very decadent.
2007 Waitrose Sauternes, Château Suduiraut( £16.99 down to £12.74 per half, 14%, Waitrose )
It’s something of a coup for Waitrose to source their own label Sauternes from the First Growth property of Château Suduiraut. The result is a very classy dessert wine with the emphasis on botrytis-affected Semillon with a dash of Sauvignon Blanc. The oak is deftly handled here, adding a spicy nuance to the flavours and aromas of honey, beeswax and crème brûlée. The intense sweetness is balanced by just the right amount of acidity.
2005 Coop Agricola Garriguella, Dolç de Gerisena, Emporda, Empordà( €10, 16.5% )
Mature, full-flavoured blend of Garnatxa and Cariñena, showing rich, liquoricey fruit flavours, notes of dried figs and herbs, some spirit and a fiery finish. Dry and a little too hot, this should be drunk now.
NV Pere Guardiola, Torre de Capmany Gran Reserva, Emporda, Empordà( €15, 15% )
Mature, concentrated, figgy fortified style made in a tawny, barrel-aged style. The volatility is quite marked here, but it’s a complex, aged style with nutty, almond and rancio flavours and impressive, Christmas cake complexity
2004 Vinyes dels Aspres, Bac de les Ginesteres, Emporda, Empordà( €25 (37.5cl), 14.5% )
Savoury, spicy, complex, mature, espresso notes with some sun-dried rancio complexity and Tokaj like acidity. Hazelnut and dried fruits, with complexity that builds on the palate. Complex, Sherry-like notes. Superb.
NV Can Carreras, Garnatxa de L’Emporda, Emporda, Empordà( €8 (37.5cl), 15% )
Complex, mature, figgy fortified, with notes of hazelnut and crème caramel, a touch of sweetness, some rancio flavours and a dry, tapering finish. Very complex, very long, with integrated spirit notes.
2011 Brancott Estate, Letter Series, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough( £16, 9.5%, Brancott Estate Shop )
Interesting to see New Zealand’s biggest producer branching out into the production of high end, late picked dessert-style Sauvignon Blanc and selling it on line through its own channels. The result is very tasty, with syrupy, but not cloying flavours of exotic mango and pink grapefruit, light alcohol and well judged sweetness.
2007 Disznókö, 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji Aszú, Tokaj( £25.60, 12.5%, Waitrose )
Superb Tokay from one of the best, modern-style producers in this most traditional of sweet wine regions. This is still a very young wine, even at six years old, with the acidity you expect from Furmint. It’s bitingly fresh, but the appley tartness is balanced by pear and honeyed sweetness, with hints of white flowers and remarkable concentration and length. One to buy now and hold on to for a decade.
2009 Lions de Suduiraut, Sauternes, Bordeaux( £15, 14%, Averys, Berry Bros & Rudd )
That’s £15 per half by the way, just in case you were amazed by the bargain on offer here. Still, it’s a lovely Sauternes, made by a property that made some of the best sweet wines in Bordeaux in 2009. This is honeyed and intense, but with less concentration than the same château’s grown up wine. Sweet vanilla pod and crème brûlée notes combine with a citrus lift on the palate. Classy stuff.