Our latest masterclass focussed on the luxurious world of sweet wines and we tasted through an utterly sumptuous selection of top class wines from around the world – and not a Sauternes to be seen!
A delicate, medium sweet Monbazillac from the Dordogne calibrated our palates for the onslaught of richness to follow. The Monbazillac was a perfect aperitif style dessert wine.
Next up was a Riesling Auslese 2011 from the historic Schloss Vollrads estate in the Rheingau to the west of Wiesbaden. At just 7.5% alcohol, it was beautifully delicate with sublime racing acidity – a benchmark example of its genre.
A huge contrast followed as we moved to South Africa for the 362gms/litre residual sugar Straw wine 2020 Chenin Blanc from the Mullineux estate. By any standard this is phenomenally sweet and too much for some! Even with even higher acidity than the Riesling, it still felt very resinous.
It was back to Europe and the legendary Spanish wine make Telmo Rodriguez. His Mountain wine comes from just outside Malaga and made from Muscat of Alexandria. This was a sublime example of elegant, balanced wine making with fine acidity balancing the sweetness.
The Pieropan family were up next with their marvellous Recioto di Soave made from dried Garganega grapes that spent five months desiccating prior to fermentation. A perfect balance that cried out for some creamy gorgonzola (which fortunately I had!)
Sauvignon Blanc is showing fabulously well in the Sudsteiermark region of southern Austria, right on the border of Slovenia, in both bone dry and unctuously sweet versions. The Trockenbeerenauslese from the family Sattlerhof estate was fabulously sweet with lovely clean acidity and once again showed the quality of Austrian wine.
Two favourite wines and two of the sweetest of the night rounded off our tasting. The Vin Santo from Capezzana was incredibly sweet at 305gms/litre – certainly much sweeter than most Vin Santos and yet it retained the oxidative qualities that you associate with the style. This ranks as a true legend of this style. Far too good to dip your cantuccis in I feel.
Finally, a Pedro Ximenez from the excellent Lustau bodega in Jerez. 417 gms per litre residual sugar – this is a wine to pour over the finest vanilla ice cream you can find and enjoy a truly unique style of wine.
For details of the wines, and prices, see the wines we have tasted page.