In the run-up to Christmas 2021 Tom suggests various wine selections for the festive season. This week: three contrasting sweet wines:
(2021) From 25-year-old vineyards on the slopes between 50 and 180 metres, this comes from Monbazillac in Bergerac, just next to Bordeaux and the famous sweet wines of Sauternes. Using mainly Sémillon plus Sauvignon Blanc and a touch of Muscadelle, this is matured for 24 months after fermentation in tanks. It has a lighter-styled, late-harvest rather than heavily Bortytised nose, some leaf tea and gentle fig notes, then a palate showing loads of juicy exotic fruit sweetness, medium-bodied, a little bitter lemon character comes through, freshening this very nicely. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) This is the special 50cl bottling for Waitrose that I've recommended in previous vintages, and which always pleases. Honey, glycerine and fig on the nose, then an unctuously thick palate of apricot and marmalade, full sweetness, and the acid has a certain creamy softness to it that smooths the picture, though of course is more than sufficient to balance. There's a nectarine juiciness here that offsets the viscous richness, in a pure and delightful wine. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Left to hang on the vine late into the autumn when Botytis developed on the bunches, this is a dessert wine in the style of one of Germany's Trockenbeerenausle wines, sold in half bottles and lusciously sweet with around 200g/l of residual sugar. A burnished gold in colour, it opens laden with honey and barley sugar, but beneath there is a zest of Seville orange mamalade, the glycerine and lemon richness surging onto the palate. The unctuous richness of texture and fabulously exotic ripe mango and papaya needs to be balanced, and the wine does it beautifully, crystalline lemon zestiness pushing through. Fabulous. Watch the video for more information.