Waitrose’s own Sauternes is also made by Château Suduiraut and is equally lovely: Waitrose So Sauternes 2013 (Bordeaux, France, 13%, Waitrose, £9.99) has a fresh, fruity character.
If you’re interested in other sweet wines, I loved the spicy Adnams Fine Dessert Wine Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh 2016 (France, 12.5%, Adnams, £9.99), which is made in the Gers from local varieties arrufiac, petit and grand corbu and petit manseng.
Also from south-west France and good for those who find Sauternes too rich, Domaine de Lasserre Jurançon (12%, Co-op, £7/37.5cl): consider poached peaches and apricots with floral quince . Made from Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng, this is total heaven.
Dr Loosen Riesling Eiswein NV (Moselle, Germany, 7%, Pull the Cork, £27.95/18.7cl) is exquisite. Made from grapes picked during a cold snap while frozen on the vine, it smells of linden and sweet pear and tastes refreshing.
Head to the ports. I wouldn’t be without a bottle of tawny port in the fridge this time of year. It’s a favorite among my friends and I pour it instead of pudding.
If you want something special, go for a colheita (a single crop fawn). Warre’s Colheita Port 2009 (20.5%, Vivino, £31.65) is excellent and there’s a brilliant one from Noval in my wines of the week.
For darker red ports, I recommend Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2016 (Portugal, 20%, Tanners Wines, £15.50).
For something more special, Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port 2012 (Portugal, 20%, Waitrose 201 stores, £25.59 less than £31.99 until Jan 2; Majestic £26.99/34.99 £ blend six/price of a bottle) is a vintage Port crafted from vines grown in a single vineyard in the Douro wilderness and it has notes of liquorice and violets.
Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha 2005 (Portugal, 20%, Waitrose, £25.49 vs £33.99 until Jan 2) is a bit older and a real beauty.
Let’s move on to the sherry. The first liquor I ever tasted was sherry cream poured the classic way from an old bottle from my grandmother’s buffet. I didn’t like it very much. But I like cream sherry – which is just a blend of other styles of sherry – now, and I like it best when it’s sweet and tastes like raisins and raisins.
Some good ones: Taste the Difference Oloroso Sherry NV (Spain, 20%, Sainsbury’s, £8/50cl) which is made for Sainsbury’s by Lustau; the glorious Williams & Humbert As You Like It Medium Amontillado NV (Spain, 20.5%, Waitrose (150 stores), £29.99/50cl); and Gonzalez Byass Apostoles 30-Year-Old Palo Cortado Sherry Half Bottle NV (Spain, 20%, Majestic, £22.49 / £24.99 mix six / bottle price) which tastes of toasted hazelnuts and almonds and is wonderfully complex.
As for sherry, one for those of you who love PX, the devilishly sweet and gooey sherry that tastes like molasses and is good poured over vanilla ice cream: the best* PX Sherry NV (Spain , 15%, Tesco, £6 for half a bottle).
And finally, a Madeira. I love both the smart packaging and the wines from Barbeito Madeira. See my Wines of the Week, below, for more details on this, as well as two excellent Ports.
Wines of the week
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This notice was published: 2021-12-23 16:07:23