I am familiar with aged wines. I have enjoyed a few Botrytis dessert wines. And I am a big fan of Riesling. So when I came across a wine with all these elements pulled together I couldn’t help but be curious. And at the price I was offered, buying a dozen in a case wasn’t too difficult a decision to make.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium
- Colour: Gold
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium+
- Development: Developing
- Sweetness: Sweet
- Acidity: High
- Alcohol: Low
- Body: Medium+
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Long
- Quality: Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential for ageing
- Identity: Australia / King Valley / Riesling (Botrytis)
- Price: Inexpensive ($7-8 special offer)
- Slow, thick tears
- Served straight from fridge
- Aromas of dried apricot, dried peach, preserved pineapple, citrus oils, marmalade
- Flavors of dried apricot, prune, citrus oils, marmalade
- Good acid, ensures sweetness is not too cloying
- Great with fruit salad, ice cream
Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that can infect a vine’s berries. The fungus penetrates the skin of the grape and removes water, causing the berries the shrivel. In the right conditions this results in a high concentration of sugars and acid in the fruit, allowing the winemaker to create this dessert style of wine.
The most famous example of Botrytis dessert wines would have to be those from Sauternes, France, made primarily from the Semillon varietal. Do a quick search online and you will find numerous articles referencing high prices and fantastical age claims. Another one is Tokaji Eszencia, which has been referred to as a “medieval Viagra”. I like to think of it as “sex in a spoon”. Interpret that however you will.
It’s important to have a high acid level to balance the high sugar levels, otherwise the wine will seem too sweet and cloying, much like bad cough medicine. A high acid level will cause the mouth to salivate and help keep the palate clear and freshened. As a bonus, high sugar and acid will give the wine great cellaring potential.
You might notice there is a higher level of sweetness at “luscious”. This wine sits just under beneath at “sweet”. How sweet does a wine have to be to cross the threshold? Luscious wines can have the viscosity of honey and colour ranging from gold to toffee. The wine can cling to your mouth and coat your palate. It’s not unheard of for people to pour such wines on ice creams (I’m looking at you, ladies). Just don’t share it with the children, please.
All in all, I found this wine to be very well made and finely balanced. Through a deal at Vinomofo I was also fortunate to get fantastic value for money. This is just another example where the price does not have to be indicative of the quality.
Disclosure – I do not work for Vinomofo and they have not paid me to write a positive review. I just happened to check my Twitter feed when they advertised this. Aged? Botrytis? Riesling?! Shut up and take my money! Has anyone ever claimed that shopping was a purely rational exercise?