Sweet wine season, 6: a stunning South African

I’m enjoying this sweet wine season. Most of all, I’m impressed by just how good many sweet wines are. This one, a botrytised Riesling from South Africa, blew me away. It’s really serious stuff.

Jordan Mellifera Noble Late Harvest 2008 Stellenbosch, South Africa
11% alcohol. This Riesling is a golden colour, with a lovely nose of honeyed [...]

Sweet wine season, 5: Riverby Estate Noble Riesling, New Zealand

Until recently a peculiar piece of legislation prevented New Zealand from exporting their sweet wines to the EU. Fortunately, this has changed, and now we can get to know the exciting sweet wines of Kiwiland. Here’s one from Marlborough producer Riverby Estate, which hits the mark very nicely. It’s a botrytised Riesling.

Riverby Estate Noble Riesling [...]

Sweet wine season, 4: Pedro Ximenez, an extreme style

This is about as extreme as sweet wine gets. Very ripe grapes dried in the sun, then fortified and aged for a long time in old barrels in a solera system. PX can get a little cloying; this one avoids that and is quite beautiful.

Harvey’s Pedro Ximénez 30 Years VORS Sherry
From a solera founded in [...]

Sweet wine season, 3: De Bortoli Noble One

De Bortoli’s Noble One is now firmly established as an Aussie icon. Since its first vintage in 1982, it has established a strong reputation as a complex botrytised sweet wine that has the capacity to age beautifully. This, the 2006 vintage, is just beautiful. It’s the second time I’ve drunk it, with consistent notes.

De Bortoli [...]

Sweet wine season, 2: a Canadian Ice Wine

Ice wine, made from crushing frozen grapes, resulting in a must with sugar and acid both hugely concentrated, is an extreme form of sweet wine. The amazing sweetness is usually countered by the high acidity. Grapes have to be left on the vine, and kept healthy, through to December or even January, when they are [...]

Sweet wine season, 1: Seifried Sweet Agnes Noble Riesling

I’m starting a series on sweet wines. I think they’re neglected. The truth is, as a group they encompass some of the most exciting and complex of all wines. Often, they’re fantastic bargains, even if they are rarely cheap. There are many different styles of sweet wine, and I’m starting with a rather unsual sweet [...]