Szamorodni èdes – the “small Ausbruch”

Wineyards in Tokaj © Pecold – Fotolia.com

Szamorodni, a word of the Polish language means “as grown”, which means in this case, that for these wines, the grapes are harvested as they are currently on the vine, so not only the berries infested by noble rot are selected, as it is the case with the harvest for the Tokaji aszú. Whether the so-harvested bunch of grapes produce the dry Szaomordni száraz or the sweet Szamorodni édes depends largely on the percentage of grapes infested by Botrytis (noble rot), because those have a higher sugar content than ripe grapes. The main part of the harvested grapes

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Sigrun Noble – noble rot from Marlborough

The fact that first-class dry Sauvignon Blanc is produced at Marlborough on New Zealand’s South Island only became known at the end of the 1980s, when Cloudy Bay‘s Sauvignon Blanc became a cult wine. Sensitivity to botrytis makes this grape variety a suitable candidate for sweet wine, as does the Riesling. If the microclimate is right, there is a body of water like river or lake nearby, so wet fog can develop with its humidity, but quickly dry off from the grapes by wind and sun, these are usually the ideal conditions to harvest Botrytis infested grapes , In Waihopotou Valley in Marlborough in the Southern Valleys region, such … Read more ...

Sweet Viognier from down under

There are more than 60 wine growing regions in Australia, I suppose in this country only few fans of Australian wines know more than a handful of these regions: for example Shiraz from McLaren Vale or Barossa Valley or Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra.

In addition to the well-known sweet, alcohol-fortified Rutherglen wines, there are also wines, whose grapes are harvested with Botrytis. We have a sweet Viognier wine from South Australia, whose name FSW8B Botrytis Viognier 2015 already reveals the noble rot.
Founded in 1849, Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned wine company and is one of those Australian producers that not only produce Viognier as a varietal … Read more ...

Muffato della Sala – Italian Sauternes?

At our Italian evening Hans and I agreed in the judgment of the Muffato della Sala 2011 by Castello della Sala: In the nose like Sauternes, on the palate somehow stronger, the sweetness a bit too noticeable, there are some similarities with Passito, nevertheless no Passito – in short one very good, original Italian sweet wine.

The Castello della Sala, a winery owned by the Antinori family, is located near Orvieto. There, on soils infused with fossils, loamy, from sedimentary and volcanic origin, the vines for the muffato flourish. The Muffato is made from 60% Sauvignon Blanc, the remaining 40% comes from Grechetto, Semillon, Traminer and Riesling. Classified … Read more ...

Grand Cru from the Loire – Quarts de Chaume


Weinyard at the Loire © Pixabay

Château Bellerive cultivates twelve hectares of Chenin Blanc-planted vineyards in the commune of Rochefort-sur-Loire. Part of this community is located in the 54-hectares Quarts de Chaume appellation, which is also part of the nearly 3400 hectares AOC Coteaux du Layon.

Quarts de Chaume wines,- concentrated, expressive and extremely long-lived -, have the status Grand Cru, which can also be labeled on the label – the wines of the Coteaux du Layon appellation may only be labeled Premier Cru.
The Grand Cru status is due not only to the very low yield of 20 hectoliters per hectare, but also to the location. The vineyards in Quarts

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Tokaji – Hungary’s sweet miracles


Zoltan Sánta, member of the board of the Weinakademiker had brought with him mainly dry Hungarian wines to the tasting beginning of October in the Munich cork wine bar, but at least four sweet wines from Tokaj. There are 134 grape varieties in Hungary, but only six of them are approved for the production of sweet Tokaji: Furmint, Hárslevelû, Sárga Muskotály, Zéta, Kövérszőlõ and Kabar.

The vineyards in the Tokaj are predominantly on mineral soils of volcanic tufa, such as rhyolite, andesite or dacite, in lower layers with topsoils of clay, loam and loess. Yields are often just a few hectoliters per hectare. Most of the Botrytis … Read more ...

Dulce de Invierno – sweet wine from Rioja

The last wine tasted at Dinastía Vivanco, the tenth and last visited bodega in Rioja, was at the same time the first and only sweet wine of the entire Rioja wine journey in mid-May of this year. It was a sweet wine made from four of the five approved red grape varieties of the Rioja: Tempranillo (50%), Graciano (20%), Garnacha (20%) and Mazuelo (10%). A sweet wine made from this combination of grape varieties seems not gto be very common in the Rioja. Dinastía Vivanco, however, is not only known for its very extensive, extremely informative museum of wine culture, but also to follow new avenues in … Read more ...

Does good sweet wine have to be expensive?

Sweet wine can achieve very high prices, such as Trockenbeerenauslese by Egon Müller from the location Scharzhofberg, whose price may be up to the middle four-digit range.
Wines on the other end of the scale can be found in Lidl’s online list. In addition to high-priced Sauternes from Château d`Yquem you can also buy very cheap French sweet wines from the Bordeaux. We have tasted four of them, from different appellations, with prices of about € 4 to € 10 per 0.75l bottle. We tasted the wines blind, along with two other Sauternes from other sources. (Prices)

None of the wines, we bought at Lidl, really … Read more ...