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DESSERT WINE

DESSERT WINE
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Piemonte



Perched on the rolling foothills before stunning snow capped alps, Piedmont in Italy’s northwest is not just a serious wine capital.  From white truffles to hazelnuts, it’s got food cred as the birthplace of the Slow Food movement and is a UNESCO World heritage area for its culture of food and drink.

Red or white?
Whilst there’s some white here, the red grapes rule the roost.  Chief among them the trio of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto. The thread uniting this gang are persistent tannins, savoury red fruit and their elegant perfume.

Grapes
White: Moscato, Cortese
Red: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto

Style
Nebbiolo with its floral nose, layers of complex flavour, and fierce tannin and acid, is capable of ageing and evolving over decades. Whether from single vineyards or blends, it’s at its finest in both Barolo and Barbaresco. 

For both price and performance Dolcetto is the everyday star, whilst Barbera’s acid and dusty red fruit will appeal to Pinot drinkers.

And you might know Moscato? The village of Asti, its home base, gifted this joyful, floral fizz to the world.  Known as frizzante for its slightly sweet, slightly sparkling style. 

Favourite Producers
Rizzi, Marchesi Alfieri, Matteo Correggia, Francesco Rinaldi, Gianfranco Alessandria, GD Vajra, Vietti, Giacomo Conterno, Massolino, Produttori del Barbaresco, Bruno Giacosa, Forteto della Luja



Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 


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  1. Forteto della Luja Brachetto 2018 375ml
    Forteto della Luja Brachetto 2018 375ml
    Undoubtedly the best Brachetto Passito wine made in Italy, magically combining not just sweetness and lusciousness but also grace and refinement, not to mention uncommon depth, length and complexity. IAN D'AGATA

    This is a highly unusual wine, Brachetto itself isn't well known and most are made in to lightly frizzante sweet wines. Like Moscato d'Asti. This is a traditional style, still not sparkling, that has to be drunk to be understood. Brachetto smells and tastes of strawberries, the colour is the same in young wines. Floral and alluring. I always forget it's there until I see it on the shelf. One of those wines every one of our customers should try and least three or four times, a year. It is remarkably graceful and so digestible. ROSCOE
    2018
    Brachetto
    Italy
    457
    Special Price $55.00 Regular Price $65.00 As low as $50.00
  2. Doisy Daene 2011
    Doisy Daene 2011

    The aromatics on the Doisy-Daene comes racing out of the blocks like a March hare, soaring from the glass with honey, quince and lychee aromas with a sorbet like freshness and vivacity. The palate is supremely well balanced with a heightened level of tension and purity, offering delectable but subtle notes of white peach and apricot towards the beautifully composed, mineral-rich finish. Curiously, it reminds me of a top-flight Mosel Auslese, but what a fabulous Barsac from Denis Dubourdieu! (97) NEAL MARTIN

    The 2011 Doisy-Daëne has a tightly wound nose at first, unfurling to reveal pure honey, saffron and Mirabelle aromas. The palate is well balanced with a harmonious texture, fine acidity, very pure with an almost caressing honeyed, lemongrass-tinged finish. There is something almost tender about this Sauternes. Tasted blind at the annual 10-Year-On tasting. NEAL MARTIN, TASTED 2021

    Medium gold. The nose is richly fruity, with aromas of apricot and peach as well as some tropical fruit, and the oak is nicely judged. There's opulence on the palate but the zesty acidity ensures there is nothing heavy about the wine. It's very concentrated and silky, again with discreet oak nuances, and it shows remarkable persistence and finesse. Perfect now STEPHEN BROOK, TASTED 2021

    2011
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  3. Doisy Daene 2009
    Doisy Daene 2009

    Denis Dubourdieu has provided one of the genuine stars of the vintage with the Chateau Doisy-Daene, two, if you count his Extravagance. This has a very fragrant nose with apple blossom, lime leaf and a touch of honey. Very fresh and lifted...spring-like. The palate is very well balanced, not a powerful Sauternes but ethereally poised and focused, skipping blithely to an animated pear, honeysuckle and apricot finish. Very pretty, very complete and very outstanding. (98) NEAL MARTIN

    The last time I tasted the 2009 Doisy-Daëne, I felt it was in a dumb phase. This bottle suggests that it is no longer in that phase! It has a lovely bouquet with honey, white peach, nougat and light marzipan scents, growing in intensity with just a touch of lavender. Wonderful definition. The palate is very well defined with superb concentration, a surfeit of botrytis, tangy marmalade and quince notes with a touch of ginger enlivening the finish. What an outstanding Doisy-Daëne! Tasted at the vertical at Doisy-Daëne. NEAL MARTIN, TASTED 2022

    2009
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
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