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Monday, 25 October 2010

Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure L'Abbaye, Monbazillac, 2005

I have had a long and meaningful relationship with dessert wines for many years now - my first love was Hungarian Tokaji, before then I got introduced to the wonderful sweet wines of Austria, and eventually made my way to the stickies of Sauternes and Monbazillac in France.

I tend to find that fellow wine enthusiasts share my love of dessert wines, whilst non-enthusiasts usually claim not to like sweet wines ... until they try one.

Much more than Champagne, a good dessert wine is virtually guaranteed to put a smile on even the most curmudgeonly of faces and at the end of a good meal, a dessert wine brings a self-satisfied glow to the proceedings like nothing else.

This one is from Bergerac, next door to Bordeaux, and is absolutely wonderful; like many Bergerac wines, the grape varieties are basically the same as Bordeaux and are grown just up the road.

A blend of  70% Sémillon and 30% Muscadelle, deep golden in the glass with a rich, expressive nose, it has white peach, apricots, acacia-blossom honey and honeydew melon on the palate, matched with toasty butterscotch, ripe tropical fruits and some lovely marzipan, orange peel and spices.

But that's not all - throughout there's the concentrated weight of botrytis and a crisp, refreshing acidity. Well-structured and focused with a lingering finish, this is a pudding in a glass all by itself, but would match splendidly with a lemon torte.

Even better would be a drop with some chicken liver paté to start things off as well.

Whilst it's not exactly cheap, you do get a 50cl bottle, rather than the more-usual 37.5cl half-bottle; I've also heard it said that with rich dessert wines, you don't need quite as much since a little goes a long way - but strangely, I've never found that to be the case ...

£19.45 per 50cl at Slurp or £275.39 per case of 12 at Everywine - provided for review.

Links

Slurp - http://www.slurp.co.uk/

Everywine - http://www.everywine.co.uk/

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