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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. Château Filhot, 2me Cru Classé Sauternes, 2009

    Château Filhot, 2me Cru Classé Sauternes, 2009

    Château Filhot is a very good quality sweet wine from the Sauternes appellation.

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

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  2. Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, 1997

    Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, 1997

    Chateau Guiraud 1997, a 1er Cru Classé sweet dessert wine from the commune of Sauternes, has a very intense, rich nose of pineapple, melted butter and crystallized citrus with notes of orange, liquorice and cinnamon.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauternes Blend
    Country France

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  3. Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, 2006 (1/2 Bottle)

    Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, 2006 (1/2 Bottle)

    Botrytis infected Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes produce this white dessert wine with great freshness and life.

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

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  4. Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, 2007 (1/2 Bottle)

    Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, 2007 (1/2 Bottle)

    Château Guiraud is the only 1er Cru Classé wine estate within the boundaries of the commune of Sauternes apart from the great Ch. d'Yquem.

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

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  5. 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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  6. 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

  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. 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

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