(2021) This is late-harvest Chenin from shale soils with quartz on clay and sand. The vines in the Saint-Aubin region of Coteaux du Layon are over 40 years old, and the wine is made in stainless steel tanks. Buttercup yellow, it has a glorious nose, all ripe stone fruits, honey and glycerine, there is surely a little Botrytis present here too. In the mouth luscious and fully sweet, richly textured but shimmering with acidity to balance. A stand-out bargain, but note most retailers have moved to the following vintage at time of review.
(2021) This wine from the Finger Lakes is made in an Auslese style, harvested in late October with a proportion of Botrytis-affected grapes. Pleasing, lightly honeyed nose, fruit of sweet red apples and a touch of barley sugar. The palate has texture and richness, but the dry Botrytis extract balances the juicy fruit sweetness. Acid is good, though perhaps just a touch more zip would have made for an event better wine.
(2021) A relatively unusual style this, a semi-sweet Gewürz, which has the hallmark florals, honeysuckle and a touch of exotic spices, but is not too flamboyant into the Turkish delight spectrum. The definite sweetness on the palate means that for me this does have to be carefully matched to food really, and I think a tarte tatin or apple strudel, maybe something like a peach cobbler, could hit the spot.
(2019) From a vineyard bought by the family in 1353. More tobacco and cherry and floral lift and perfume, that slightly ashy quality. The lovely sweetness of ripe cherry and juicy, plump currants, and a beautifully judged residual sugar, but set against it keen, cherry skin acidity and tight tannins, with an underpinning of violet and bittersweet dark chocolate, a deliciously balanced wine. Around 60g/l residual sugar. Price for 50cl.
(2019) A wine that brought a smile to my face, Cienna is a cross of Summol and Cabernet Sauvignon, here the fermentation stopped at 7.5% alcohol, to leave this deep red wine distinctly sweet and mildly spritzy. Aromas of cola, cherry and chocolate are echoed on the palate, where plenty of sweetness moves this into the dessert wine category for me, though Brown Bros suggest Indian Curry is a good match. Interesting, though I couldn't be a regular drinker of it I confess.
(2017) Made with wild foraged meadowsweet, a herb that grows by river banks. Pale gold in colour, high chamomile and - yes - meadowsweet aromas, quite interesting and inviting a sip: that reveals a medium-sweet mouthful of fairly light-bodied wine, those floral and herbal characters and a hint of bitterness in the finish. The best of the three Cairn O'Mohr wines tasted in my opinion, though wine lovers need not rush to buy.
(2017) 'Goes with Haggis' is the name, and could this get any more cliched Scottish, also with a picture of Rabbie Burns on the label. The colour is light red and the nose has an interesting herbal and nettle touch to berry fruit, certainly adding some interest that's missing in the raspberry wine. In the mouth it is drier than expected, a slightly metallic edge, but also a hint of spices and those dry autumn leaves and berries. Palatable rather than admirable for me.
(2017) Perthshire is home of the Cairn O'Mohr winery, and of Scotland's thriving soft fruit industry, so the fresh raspberries that flavour this drink certainly clock up very few food miles. It's a deep pink or light red in colour, and the aromas are of slightly generic red berries rather than singing of raspberry. In the mouth the initial sweetness of the fruit is soon swept up in acidity, in an off-dry style, but it is a pretty blunt instrument I must say.
(2017) A case of this was purchased by me maybe a decade ago, and after three of four enjoyable bottles from it, I rather forgot all about the remainder in the cellar, so it was time to try this 27-year-old sweet Chenin Blanc again. The colour is a lovely buttercup/light gold, with immediately attractive notes of honey and wild flowers, beeswax and pollen, quite complex and so inviting. On the palate it is medium-bodied but has some slippery texture and weight, and the sweetness is lovely: just as sweet as I remember it, a light honey and caramel, but dazzling freshness too. Long, with some barley sugar and excellent acidity, it's not full-on sweet, but just lovely. Drink with fruity desserts, foie-gras, or on its own. There are actually two or three stockists of this 1990 at time of review - use wine-searcher.
(2017) The label doesn't list the varieties for this distinctly off-dry to medium-sweet Loire pink, but it's 60% Cabernet Franc with 20% each of Gamay and Grolleau. Quite pale in colour, it has a sweetie, cherry lips and red liquorice nose, some floral aspects, and a plenty of sweetness on the palate. Fruity and simple, there is decent acidity, but it is verging on a dessert wine for my palate and perhaps best matched to strawberry shortcake or similar desserts.