Elegant Vin Doux Naturel – Muscat de St.-Jean de Minervois


If you now and then like to drink a glass of fruity sweet wine, but the wine does not last long even in the fridge, you should try a Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) of Muscat grapes, which lasts much longer than most other sweet wines because of the way how it is produced.

The Muscat Vin Doux Natural, produced in different appellations, are almost all made from the grape Muscat Blanc de Petits Grains, as well as all all VDN originating from the Languedoc. The Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois, which we have tasted, originates from about 300 m high vineyards in the northeast of the Minervois. In these locations, … Read more ...

Pineau de Charentes – Vin de liqueur with Cognac

The Pineau de Charentes, a liqueur wine, is produced in the Cognac region, more specifically from the departments of Charente, Charente-Maritim and Deux-Sèvres. To produce a Pineau brandy from the AC Cognac is added to the fresh must of grapes, only a few hours after they have been harvested. The must may have started the fermentation and must have in any case more than 170 grams of sugar per liter. The cognac must have an alcohol content of at least 60%, be at least one year old and aged in wooden barrels – even a longer maturation is possible.

The Pineau de Charentes, which exists in white, … Read more ...

Floc – Vin de liqueur of the Gascony

The list of French Vin de Liqueur is long. The Floc de Gascogne liqueur wine is not only drunk as an aperitif or as a dessert wine but also enjoyed with other dishes – an impression promoted on the website of Floc de Gascogne. The Floc de Gascogne, coming from the Gascony, located in south-western France, is composed of grape juice and Armagnac. There are both red (rosé or rouge) and white Flocs (blanc), each corresponding to the color of the grape juice. Armagnac and grape juice must come from the same farm, according to the appellation rules, and the producers are therefore located … Read more ...

Expressive Málaga PX Añejo

A round trip in Andalusia was on the program of our friends and neighbors, including some days were planned in Málaga. So I asked Heinz and Mausi to bring me a sweet Málaga wine, emphasizing that type, age, sweetness and style are not important at all, just the first sweet Málaga wine they see.

For sweet Málaga wines it is not easy to reconcile the manifold nomenclatures. There is Vino de licor, Vino de uvas sobremaduradas and Vino de uvas pasificadas, the still well-comprehensible classification according to the duration ripening Noble (2-3 years), Añejo (3-5 years) and Transañejo (over 5 years), but beyond there are many others … Read more ...

Spanish Mistela – Floralis Moscatel


“We would like to introduce you to the Floralis Moscatel Oro sweet wine from the winery from Torres and at the same time arranged the dispatch of a product sample,” was written in the mail of an agency. In addition there was an attachment with informations about region, wine and winery. At that time I was in the process of working out more informations about Spanish sweet wines and therefore this wine was ok for me.. From the enclosed information I could see that the Floralis is probably a Mistela, a type of sweet wine that I had barely tasted before, so the Floralis came just right.

The Spanish … Read more ...

Matured sweet wines – fresh and youthful

Hans had already opened some excellent wines to the excellent French dinner, including, for example, a 2013 Chevalier Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive and a 2005 Le Pavillon from Chapoutier. For cheese and dessert he had selected matured sweet wines, from German predicates such as Spätlese on Vin Doux Naturel to Madeira – all excellent.

1994 Niederhäuser Herrmannshöhle Spätlese, Dönnhoff
Quince, pear and white peach on the nose, delicately smoky. Very fresh on the palate, prominent acidity, mild fruit, juicy, lean, mineral notes. Excellent wine, which proved to be an ideal companion to Fourme d’Ambert with quince jelly, because it took out the pungency of the cheese and brought out its … Read more ...

From the Solera – Catalonian sweet wine

Catalonia, currently in the news because its efforts of independence from Spain, is better known for cava as well as its red wines from the Priorat or Monsant. Sweet wines, which until the 1950s together with Cava held a leading role in Catalonia, are of minor importance nowadays, best known are still the sweet wines with untypical ageing notes, often varnish-like flavours, of the DO Terra Alta and the Garnatxa de l’Empordà. Sweet wines from the Tarragona wine region are now among the least known wines in Catalonia – until the 1960s, they were considered a low-cost alternatives to port wine. In Tarragona, the fortified strong sweet wines have always … Read more ...

Cream-Sherry: Oloroso plus sweetness

Cream means sweetened sherry, a category that also includes Pale Cream and Medium, is considered by quite a few sherry lovers as a purely commercial product. This may be true if Oloroso is sweetened by the addition of sweet or even cooked, concentrated grape must (Arrope). But that holds not true if of blending a dry sherry is done with a sweet sherry, such as PX (Pedro Ximénez) or Moscatel, as is the case with the three Cream Sherries, we have tasted.

The name Cream for this type of sweet sherry goes back to Harveys’ Bristol Cream, which introduced it in the 1860s … Read more ...

Vintage Fortified Shiraz – Australian Port Wine?


Definitely no! Although both are similar in winemaking, but the Vintage Fortified Shiraz 2007 of the winery d’Arenberg presented completely different, unlike Vintage Port.
Although Australia has been known for its full-fruity wines for many years, from the mid-19th century, for about 100 years, the alcohol-fortified wines, referred to in Australia as “fortified”, have dominated Australian viticulture.
The family winery d’Arenberg, founded in 1912 in the wine growing region of McLaren Vale in South Australia, produced mainly alcohol-fortified wines until the mid-1950s. The Vintage Fortified Shiraz was first produced there in 1928. The tasted Vintage Fortified Shiraz 2007 comes from old Shiraz vines, in some cases from the … Read more ...

Rivesaltes Ambré – amber coloured complexity

My first experiences with Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) were characterized by fresh dark red, reductively vinified Banyuls (rimage), only later followed the oxidatively vinified bright to brick red Banyuls (traditionnel or Grand Cru) and finally the other types of VDN. This order is not surprising, because Banyuls is the most well-known and frequently represented wine in the German wine trade of the sweet French VDN. During a visit to Roussillon, which accounts for over 80% of the total VDN produced in France, I met the Ambré type Amber (Amber) and very appreciate it since then.
To an Aargauer Rueblitorte (recipe under sweet wine and food), which contained … Read more ...