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Sweet Wine

Ranging from medium-dry to almost cloyingly rich, these wines are sweet from the residual sugar left in the wine after fermentation has stopped. Sweet wines or dessert wines are produced in the same way as dry white wines; the difference lies in when the grapes are picked. By leaving the grapes on the vine for longer and harvesting them later in the season the grapes become fully ripe and develop a much higher sugar content.

When these high sugar content musts ferment, the yeast, which is converting the sugar to alcohol, tires quickly and the fermentation comes to a halt leaving behind unconverted natural sugars which is referred to as residual sugar content.

The most famous sweet wines such as Château D’Yquem of Sauternes are made from grapes purposefully left on the vines waiting to become infected with a type of rot called botrytis cinerea, better known as ‘noble rot’ (pourriture noble in French). This fungus dries out the grapes and gives them a much higher concentration of sugar as well as honey and apricot flavours but takes great skill and knowledge to bring about.

Sauternes is renowned for producing the best sweet wines in the world, though Alsace, the Loire Valley and other regions of France produce outstanding examples. Only certain grape varieties are fit for producing sweet wines. Amongst these are Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Sweet wines naturally go well with sugary desserts and even cheese but also as an aperitif with dishes like foie gras. If not they are always delicious on their own. These wines are best served at 8-10°C.

  1. South Coast Liqueur Red, Massandra Collection, 1945

    South Coast Liqueur Red, Massandra Collection, 1945

    A fortified red wine similar in style to Port albeit made with very different grape varieties.

    Details
    Colour Other Fortified Red
    Grape Variety Aleatico, Magarch Bastardo, Morastel, Saperavi
    Country Ukraine

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  2. Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2009 (1/2 Bottle)

    Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2009 (1/2 Bottle)

    Torbreck's 2009 vintage Bothie displays beautifully fragrant aromas of fresh pine/lime, melon and lychee accompanied by extraordinary floral notes.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Country Australia

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  3. Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2010 (Half Bottle)

    Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2010 (Half Bottle)

    Australian "sticky" Muscat dessert wine which is sweet, crisp, silky and pure. Its freshness is atypical and all the more welcome for it.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Country Australia

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  4. Baron Rothschild Mouton Cadet Reserve, Sauternes, 2012

    Baron Rothschild Mouton Cadet Reserve, Sauternes, 2012 (Half Bottle)

    With its colour a rich gold-yellow, this wine has a honeyed quality with a nose reminiscent of candied citrus fruits and floral hints of acacia. The palate offers rich apricot flavours with some candied fruit and honey.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauternes Blend
    Country France

    Out of stock

  5. Château d'Yquem, Sauternes Premier Cru Supérieur, 2002, (Half-bottle)

    Château d'Yquem, Sauternes Premier Cru Supérieur, 2002, (Half-bottle)

    A half-bottle of the world's greatest sweet/dessert wine.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauternes Blend
    Country France

    Out of stock

  6. Château de Ricaud, Loupiac, 1929

    Château de Ricaud, Loupiac, 1929

    Despite Château de Ricaude coming from Loupiac it demonstrates how comparable these wines can be with their illustrious Sauternes & Barsac neighbours just across the river. This is sensational by any standard, bronze in colour with a huge marmalade unctuous nose.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauternes Blend
    Country France

    Out of stock

  7. Château Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes, 1990

    Château Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes, 1990

    The 1990 vintage of Château Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes, is a deep, honeyed, light-golden, thickly textured, sweet white dessert wine.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauternes Blend
    Country France

    Out of stock

  8. Château Rieussec, Premier Cru Classé Sauternes, 1983

    Château Rieussec, Premier Cru Classé Sauternes, 1983

    Château Rieussec is a Premier Cru Classé Sauternes which is known for its good value and quality from this exalted appellation.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Muscadelle, Sauternes Blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon
    Country France

    £59.99

    Out of stock

  9. Moscatel de Setúbal, Jose Maria da Fonseca, 1900

    Moscatel de Setúbal, Jose Maria da Fonseca, 1900

    Moscatel de Setúbal is one of the world's great fortified sweet wines produced by Jose Maria da Fonseca from the Moscatel grape variety which is closely related to the better known Muscat grape of France.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Moscatel
    Country Portugal

    £299.99

    Out of stock

  10. South Coast Dessert Rose Muscat, Massandra Collection, 1945

    South Coast Dessert Rose Muscat, Massandra Collection, 1945

    The second vintage of this wine produced from the Rose Muscat grapevariety grown in the vineyards of the Crimea.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Muscat
    Country Ukraine

    Out of stock

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