The ICC group met on Thursday 5th November for the  ICC Sweet Wine Tasting. Wines made in a variety of ways – and anyone deterred by the idea of six sweet wines was in for a surprise….

Here are my notes:

MOSCATO D’ASTI ELIO PERRONE 2014        Piedmonte     5%      Wine Society – £8
Grapey nose with light hints of pear and mandarin. Light sherbet spritzy mousse, with a lifting clean acidity underlying the sweet palate. Very good of its, very useful, type – and good value.
Ratings: Quality: 14/20     Value: 16/20

KRÖVER KIRCHLAY AUSLESE EDELSÜß 2010   Martin Müllen, Traben-Trabach, Mosel 7%   Grower £19 – £35 in UK??
Beginning of diesel hints, soft fruit and slatey mineral on the nose. Palate has dazzling warm precise acidity – with notes of orange, other citrus peel and peach, with lip-smacking food-demanding acidity. Lots of sweetness (maybe over 100g/l) but what supple but focused acidity, combining delicacy and power. Just Wunderbar
Ratings: Quality: 18.5/20     Value: 16.5/20

MALVASIA OF CRETE (DOMAINE LYRARAKIS) 2010     Crete    11.5%    BBR –  £16 (for ½l = £24 btl.)
Made from Plyto, Dafni, Vidiano and Vilana grapes dried for 9 days in the sun. This is very dark – almost tawny port golden and showing petrol / polish notes, honey peach and later dried apricot notes. The palate is all dried fruit and peel with a toffee salt and sweet sugar and a long finish. More a real pudding wine of great character and almost a tawny-port-lite! (That’s a good thing!)
Ratings: Quality: 17/20     Value: 14.5/20

“LES TROIS DESMOSELLES” (RICHOU) 2002   Coteaux de l’Aubance   12%   Grower – £12.50 (for ½ litre = £19 btl.) UK £31.50/btl
This has passion fruit, honey and apricot on the nose. Palate has orange peel, tropical fruit (including passion fruit) and a warm sweetness with a chalky texture and a thrilling nervous acid lift at the finish. This finish is delightful, and for me, lifts the wine a merest touch above both the previous and following wines.
Ratings: Quality: 17.5/20     Value: 15/20

CH PUY SERVAIN TERREMENT MOELLEUX 2007   Haut Montravel   13.5%   Grower – £12 (for ½ litre = £18 btl.) UK £30/btl
Nose has a floral hint amongst the honey notes. Palate has warmer sweetness than the others with a butterscotch slightly burnt sugar and a long widening generous orange marmalade finish. Balanced and delightful – Roquefort anyone?
Ratings: Quality: 17/20     Value: 14.5/20

RIVESALTES AMBRÉ 3-Y-O (VIGNERONS TAUTAVEL)   Vin Doux Naturel   15.5 %   France £8
This is a pretty basic Ambré, with 3 years aging, only a year more than the minimum. The nose is quite light with sherry hints and a dried fruit hint. Palate is fruit and nuts with a toffee finish – quite simple really. Probably worth spending twice as much on a 10 year older vintage?
Ratings: Quality: 12.5/20     Value: 14.5/20

Well… topped and tailed by simpler wines (although the first is a good example) here we had four outstanding complex and interesting wines with the sine qua non of sweet wines – acidity! These would all provide a pleasurable hour sipping as dessert rather than with dessert – or just anytime really. And for me, the Auslese is a great example of a great wine-style.

Until next time…