Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My Kind of Sweetie

I make no secret of the fact that I like a sweet wine.  My training has meant that I can be critical of imbalances and flavours that show less than ideal fruit or winemaking.  Sugar doesn’t cover a multitude of sins.  While I see and taste a lot of local dessert wines, my heart is still with the classics.  Good German wine, Auslese and above, the Auslese wines working especially well, due to voluntarily lifted standards of sweetness thresholds.  The other is Sauternes, actually more freely available, but less seen, except among the hard core.  I suppose it’s the higher alcohol, greater structure and oak that makes it seem a little less natural, well at least more inputted that the German wines.  The other classic, the botrytised Tokays of Hungry are a bit way out for most to be seen as a normal classic…

So when the Pretty Pair pulled out a 2001 Ch. Suduiraut Sauternes to finish the meal, my eyes lit up, and my heart began racing.  I love Suduiraut.  It’s the closest to d’Yquem, though never as rich or as much dimension.  However, its sleek style is truly stylish.  There was a period when it was a bit too slender and slight, but that’s history for sure now.  And the vintage. 2001, one of the greatest in recent times.  Beautifully golden yellow with a little depth, but great sheen.  The nose impressively concentrated with ripe yellow fruits, marmalade, waxy Semillon and nutty oak.  Even the volatile lift as is normal.  On palate rich and decadent, but also not.  There’s always a style of restraint that keeps it in check.  The flavours as suggested by the palate.  Unctuous textures, and lovely fresh underlying acidity.  This has a long way to go before full maturity.  There’s a touch of caramel and toffee, but mahogany colours and the taste of barley-sugar and savoury marmalade is a long way off.  Give it another 15 years, and its true glory will be seen.  Lesser vintages such as the 2004s, another favourite of mine, won’t have the complexity and drink earlier, with pleasure.  But with this 2001, you know it’s special.

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