Wine talk: Sweet wines

Published NZME Regional Newspapers Tue 29 Mar 2016


Life without the occasional sticky treat would be so boring.  Wines that are indulgently delicious, swoon-inducingly sweet, yet make all the cavities in your teeth scream bloody murder with every sip.  Bring it on!


Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Riesling 2014 750ml  $30 ★★★★★PB A

Wow.  If you’ve ever seen a bunch of botrytis-infected grapes, you’ll know that they’re one of the ugliest sights in all of winemaking.  However the golden, liquid loveliness living inside that grey, mouldy grape is capable of absolute magic flavour-wise, and we have a superb example here.  Matt Donaldson has crafted a luscious, tangy, honeysuckle and spice-soaked sweetie that also manages to hold refreshing, gum-tingling acidity on the palate.  It’s cleansing yet indulgent at the same time.  Gorgeous stuff.


Mishas-Vineyard_The-Cadenza-Gewurztraminer_2015_HRMisha’s Vineyard ‘The Cadenza’ Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2015 375ml $32 ★★★★

I am a huge gewürztraminer hound.  I love the stuff, especially when it has a splash of sweetness.  So you can imagine my joy when a top-notch wine producer pulls out a rare, dessert-style example.  Olly Masters has created a sweet treat that smells like musky, crème caramel and shows fresh, honeysuckle and lychee flavours on the palate.  It’s super-long, lingering finish leaves poached stonefruit and spice in its wake.


Stanley Estate’s Noble Harvest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014stanley estate noble sauvignon 375ml  $27 ★★★★

This is another rather rare style of dessert wine because you don’t often see sauvignon blanc, Marlborough’s signature grape, offered up in such a sweet, silky, luxurious manner.  Steve Pellet and Bridget Ennals named their wines after their beloved Landrover ‘Stanley’, who safely carried them from Bath, UK, to South Africa and then on to New Zealand.  This ultra-tangy, treat that oozes passionfruit and lemon curd, honeysuckle and toffee notes – is firmly a new favourite for me.

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