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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert Wine’

Review: Concha y Toro Late Harvest Private Reserve (2008)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2013

SAM_0954When the wine industry in Chile was just beginning to get its feet underneath itself in 1883, Don Melchor, a local businesman and politico imported vines from the Bordeaux region of France and began to plant them in the Maipo Valley of Pirque in Chile. These first grapevines from France served as the foundation for what was to become Viña Concha y Toro.

The Concha y Toro Private Reserve is produced in Do Maulle Valley from late harvest Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Higher than normal rainfalls in the Do Maulle Valley at times may produce the appearance of a specific fungus called Botrytis cinerea which affects grapes by absorbing their moisture making them dry. As the fruit loses moisture, its sugar content increases dramatically with the final result being that the “botrytised” or rotten grapes are able to produce an intensely sweet and flavourful wine. It is for this reason that Botrytis cinerea is known by vineyards throughout the world as the “Noble Rot”.

I was provided a 375ml sample bottle of this Noble wine by the good folks at Select Wines who are the local distributors here in Alberta.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:

Review: Concha y Toro Late Harvest Private Reserve (2008)

“… The Concha y Toro dessert wine brings a laid back style forward with sweet fruity flavours of canned pears and apricot. A light flavour of honeydew melon, a few green grapes and light apple flavours slide across the palate, and of course we have that lovely honeyed sweetness which is characteristic of late harvest dessert wines …”

Please enjoy my review of this delicious dessert wine!

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Review: Croft Pink (Port Wine)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 25, 2013

SAM_0903 Croft Pink

Croft Pink advertises itself as the first Pink Port. This new Port style is produced in a manner which handles the Douro Valley red Port grapes in a similar manner to that which is used when producing a non-wooded white wine.  According to the Cort Pink website:

” This vinification method extracts a light amount of colour from the skins without extracting astringent tannins which would make the palate of this light style of Port aggressive. The cold settling prior to fermentation and the cool fermentation are fundamental to enhance the freshness of fruit and its elegance.”

Although the production method is  similar to that used when making white wine, the product is undeniably Port wine. It is made from red grapes in the Douro Valley, fortified with distilled grape spirit, and bottled at 19.5 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:

Review: Croft Pink (Port Wine)

“… I noticed that this Port expression is not nearly as assertive in aroma other styles of Port which I have sampled in the past. Light, sweet fruity aromas of strawberries, raspberries, green grapes and effervescent grapefruit zest greet my nose …”

I found this wine very much at home in long tall drinks with lots of ice; and, as you will see in the review, I also found a nice cocktail recipe which mixes Croft Pink with Scotch and Apricot Brandy which is very tasty.

Enjoy the Review!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dessert Wine Review, Pink Port, Wine Reviews - Port | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Croft Pink (Port Wine)

Review: De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (2008)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 15, 2013

SAM_0896 Noble OneNoble One Botrylis Semillon which is the subject of this review was created in 1982 by Darren De Bortoli.  Currently the wine has 26 vintages, and has become the standard-bearer for the De Bortoli family. The Noble One is produced from a late hand-picked harvest of the Semillon grape. The agent at work is a specific fungus called Botrytis cinerea which affects the grapes by absorbing their moisture making them dry. As the fruit loses moisture, its sugar content increases dramatically. Other factors may be at work as well with the final result being that the “botrytised” or rotten grapes are able to produce an intensely sweet and flavourful wine. Fortunately for De Bortoli, autumn in the Riverina region (where the Semillon grapes are grown) often sees long, dry, warm days interspersed with a sprinkling of showers and heavy morning dews, an ideal situation for producing the Noble Fungus.

I met Darren Blood the Export Manager (Americas and New Zealand) for De Bortoli Wines at a portfolio tasting for Lifford Wines, who are the local distributors of the Australian Noble One Botrytis Semillon dessert wine. Darren arranged for me to receive a 375 ml sample of the Noble One for review upon my website.

You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:

Review: De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (2008)

“… The breezes above the glass were enticing. There is a suave richness in the air which gives me impressions of sweet nectar and honey. I smell full bunches of green grapes, fresh apples and ripe pears. Some vanilla accents these initial impressions and a certain light spiciness reminds me of sandalwood and white oak …”

Please enjoy my review of this succulent dessert wine!

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Review: Cálem LBV Port Wine (2006)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 27, 2013

SAM_0744 Calem LBV 2006Porto Cálem was founded in 1859 by Antonio Alves Cálem and remained a family business for 4 generations. Since 1998  however, (although the Cálem family remain with the company as minority shareholders) Cálem has been part of the Portuguese Wine company, Sogevinus SGPS, S.A.

Porto Cálem Late Bottled Vintages are produced from red grapes grown in the Douro Valley of Portugal. The wine is aged between 4 to 6 years in oak casks and in wine vats. Because Cálem filters their LBV’s before bottling, their style of Late Bottled Vintage Port wine does not benefit from further aging in the bottle. It is ready to be served and does not require decanting.

(Note: I received my sample bottle from Woodman Wines and Spirits who advised me that 196 cases Calem LBV Port were to be released through Vintages (in the Province of Ontario) on June 22nd.)

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:

Review: Cálem LBV Port Wine (2006)

“… The aroma is soft and full of sweet purple fruit as the breezes above the glass bring forward smells of plump fresh dark-red cherries, black raspberry jam, and sticky plum sauce. I seem to smell a vague earthiness under the ripe fruit as impressions of rich damp humus fill soil seem to be hinted at. There is also a light spiciness which for me is reminiscent of wood chips drying in the sun …”

Please enjoy the review of this surprisingly good LBV Port Wine!

(Please note that the problem I had earlier with the above link has been fixed!)

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Alvear Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 7, 2013

Alvear Pedro Ximenez 1927

It seems lately, that whenever I am invited to an industry sponsored event, I am asked to try a new rum or whisky which has spent some time in a Pedro Ximénez cask (also called a PX cask and/or a Pedro Jiménez cask). The presence of the PX Cask can be tasted in premium rums like Ron Zacapa XO, as well as in single malt whiskies like the Auchentoshan Three Wood, as both rum and whisky producers have found this to be an excellent oak cask to use during maturation to add sweet raisiny flavour to their spirits. Because of the growing importance of the PX Cask, I thought an examination of at least one Pedro Ximénez wine would be a worthwhile venture upon my website. Fortunately for me, I met Maria Alvear at the recent Pacific Wine and Spirits, 40th Anniversary Portfolio Tasting. Maria is of course a member of the Alvear Family which produces the Alvear Pedro Ximénez family of wines. Maria arranged for me to receive a small bottle of the Alvear Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927 for review upon my website.

Alvear is one of the more prestigious Bodegas (wine houses) in Andalusia (an autonomous region of Spain). The grape varietal upon which the Bodega is built is Pedro Ximénez. This grape is believed to have been imported from the Rhine region (in Germany), and is used as the sole base for Alvear’s sweet, Fino, Oloroso, Amontillado and of course Pedro Ximénez wines. The wine which goes by the name Alvear Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927 is produced from the dried grape (or raisin) rather than from the fresh grape. Harvested grapes are placed upon special grass mats, and slowly sun-dried. The raisins are then crushed into a heavy, dense raisin juice (almost a syrup) which is used as the basis for the wine.

The Alvear Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927 wine is matured in a solera which was originally laid down in 1927,  and therefore every bottle produced will have a tiny amount of the original wine from 1927.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Alvear Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927

“… The initial aroma is a reflection of dry fruit (mostly prunes with additional dates and raisins) and dark bittersweet chocolate. As the glass sits I notice building aromas of sweet dark caramel and maple, as well as an underlying impression of walnuts and pecans. There appears to be a bit of spiciness in the breezes above the glass, and perhaps I am noticing touches of marzipan and marmalade meandering within those breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my latest review!

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