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Chateau Y'quem 1996


Kim WB
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I will, on occassion, have a sauterne with foie gras or dessert, on even more rare occassions, a port. Last night I went to a wine tasters dinner, Krug, at a NJ restaurant that I love. I'm not sure if it was the copious amounts of Champagne enjoyed before hand, or simply that this was a truely extraordianry wine...but the bottom line is, after tasting the C Y'quem 1996, I am hooked.

I would like to begin exploring the world of sweet wines, and will not be joined by my serious wine collector husband on this journey. Suggestions of 1/2 bottles would be appreciated. Cost is not too important..I jsut want to work my way up tot he more rare and expensive stuff so I can know what I am enjoying and have a better comparative palate.

Where to begin? Reislings, ice wines, ths Spanish have a dessert wine, too, right? ...any particularly good books or web resources?

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I enjoy late harvest white reisling by Navarro Vineyard in Mendocino County; also Vin de Glaciere by Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz(this resembles an ice wine because it's made by freezing grapes;it is very good and a lot less expensive than a true ice wine like Inniskillin(spelling??)from Canada)) and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc by David Coffaro Winery in Dry Creek Valley near Healdsburg.

Chateau d'Yquem always makes me smile, remembering the one time II bought a bottle for my 15th wedding aniversary in 1983- I paid about $12(which was a lot for me then) in a wine warehouse in San Francisco, made a special meal at home for my husband, opened the bottle- and was shocked to find out it was sweet! All I knew was that it was a famous French wine and was expecting something like chardonnay! It was wasted on us then, wish I had the bottle now!

Roz

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I will, on occassion, have a sauterne with foie gras or dessert, on even more rare occassions, a port. Last night I went to a wine tasters dinner, Krug, at a NJ restaurant that I love. I'm not sure if it was the copious amounts of Champagne enjoyed before hand, or simply that this was a truely extraordianry wine...but the bottom line is, after tasting the C Y'quem 1996, I am hooked.

I would like to begin exploring the world of sweet wines, and will not be joined by my serious wine collector husband on this journey. Suggestions of 1/2 bottles would be appreciated. Cost is not too important..I jsut want to work my way up tot he more rare and expensive stuff so I can know what I am enjoying and have a better comparative palate.

Where to begin? Reislings, ice wines, ths Spanish have a dessert wine, too, right? ...any particularly good books or web resources?

Kim,

If you are already hooked on the '96, your mission in life is to now taste the incredible '90 or the extraordinary '67. Yquem is best enjoyed with COLD foie gras d'oie en gelée, or sliced pears, apples, ripe Stilton and walnuts. The most delicious sweet wine that I have tasted this year was a 2001 Braunberger Juffur Trockenbeerenauslese from Max Ferdinand Richter in the Mosel. These wines have amazing intensity and sharp acidity, making them more versatile for dessert pairings. The Spanish dessert wine to look for is called Dulce Monastrel. It pairs nicely with chocolate, which Sauternes won't do.

Mark

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Mmmm 67 Yquem.

Mark -- I find a lot of German sweet wines have too low acidity to my taste -- is this unusual? What are some good types that have good acidity?

There are also some good sweet wines from the Loire (coteaux-de-layon) , from Alsace (I especially like Ostertag SGN) and also some nice red ones from Italy -- recioto di valoplicella. And of course vin santo from Italy (Avignonesi). Also Chapoutier vin de paille from the Rhone. Lots of good stuff out there, and sweet wine isn't as fashionable or expensive as other types of wine so you have a good price/qualit y ratio.

But when you say you 'just want to work up to the more expensive stuff" and you start with Yquem ..

:biggrin:

Edited by balex (log)
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Tokaji Aszu is also well worth a look. Many of the newer, non-oxidised versions have been described as being somewhat sauternes-like. It normally comes in 0.5l bottles, which is good if you don't want to crack a full bottle.

For an intro into sweet wines, James Peterson has published a book on sweet wines (check amazon) recently which provides a good overview of the species, plus suggested food pairings

cheerio

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I will, on occassion, have a sauterne with foie gras or dessert, on even more rare occassions, a port. Last night I went to a wine tasters dinner, Krug, at a NJ restaurant that I love. I'm not sure if it was the copious amounts of Champagne enjoyed before hand, or simply that this was a truely extraordianry wine...but the bottom line is, after tasting the C Y'quem 1996, I am hooked.

I would like to begin exploring the world of sweet wines, and will not be joined by my serious wine collector husband on this journey. Suggestions of 1/2 bottles would be appreciated. Cost is not too important..I jsut want to work my way up tot he more rare and expensive stuff so I can know what I am enjoying and have a better comparative palate.

Where to begin? Reislings, ice wines, ths Spanish have a dessert wine, too, right? ...any particularly good books or web resources?

For German wines locate a copy of Frank Scoonmaker's "Wines of Germany" and start with QBA's working up to TBA's. It won't be a quick journey but I guarantee that you will love it.

For Sauternes, locate some 2001 375ml bottles. Since some of the vineyards have still not delivered the 2001, you may be able to buy some futures if not all gone. I only know I'm waiting for 2 cases of Suiderat 375ml.

Once in while i sample other sweet wines from around the world but since my palate was formed on French and German, the rest don't measure up for me. -Dick

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Kim,

There are excellent sweet wines made in the US and Canada; I would start off by exploring a range of Late Harvest varietals, and make your own comparisons. I personally prefer Late Harvests to Ice Wines, which I find just too sweet (as well as being much more expensive). The Late Harvests will pair better with a fruit dessert, too.

Canada's ice wines are world leaders, coming from both the Niagara region in Ontario and the Okanagan in BC. This year, top honours at the Canadian Wine Awards went to Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2001 Proprietors' Grand Reserve Riesling Icewine. 2003 promises to be a stellar year for ice wines from BC, as there was an early freeze, and the quality of grapes on the vine at the time was outstanding.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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You start at the very top. 96 Yquem is probaly one of the world's best and greatest sweet wines, although it is still very young. 96 was, if you remember, that very hot year, when the grapes were super-ripe.

Other regions have different styles, perhaps not as sugary as Sauterne, and therefore better with food.

My current personal favourite is an Australian Gewurtztramier: Rymill, Coonawarra - Gewurztraminer half 1998 Botrytis affected late harvest (Cambridge Wine Merchants, £5.99/half bottle)

Other styles you might like to explore are Barsac, for example Ch. Climens, or sweet Loire wines (Parker raves about Domaine du Clos Naudin, Foreau (Vouvray) 1996). Vendage Tardive (Late harvest) Alsace wines are also interesting and present a range of flavours from different grape varieties.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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If you want the king of sweet wines, you should try and get some Tokay Essencia. I had 4 bottles - one of which I had before my wedding (both the night before and the morning of) and 2 of the other bottles have been open for about 6 years.

I believe taht one of them has about 700 grams a litre of sugar which makes even Yquem look a little "dry".

PS This is not the same as Aszu Essencia

Edited by ctgm (log)
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Kim WB,

I am jealous of you having attended the dinner at RATs. I sell them wine and actually dropped off the 89 Krug, 1.5 litre, on Friday.

As to dessert wines, if you tell me where you live, I can suggest a couple of really good retailers who may be able to help you in your journey.

All my best,

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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If you are already hooked on the '96, your mission in life is to now taste the incredible '90 or the extraordinary '67.

I've had the '90 d'Yquem. I haven't tasted 1000's of wines, nor am I an expert, but if I had to name one, this would stand as the most incredible wine I've ever had.

Kim, you might also try Muscat Beaumes de Venise, there are several labels, my favorite being Domaine de Durban. and its affordable!

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Pretty much all of my favorites have been mentioned. The Avignonesi vin santo is amazing. Another is Chambers Rosewood special Tokay. It is NV nectar.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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To me the key to a great dessert wine is the right amount of acid to balance the sugar. Without the acid, it gets too cloying.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thirty Bench Reisling Ice Wine from the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario is one from there that I have particularly enjoyed. It may be hard to find in the States, though.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Does no-one here like any Italian sweet wines? No Moscato?

It isn't moscato - though Maculan do a nice job with their Dindarello moscato-based dessert wine - but you should make the effort to find a bottle of Maculan's Acininobili. This is a special version of their high-end Torcolato, released only in botrytis-affected vintages. If you like d'Yquem, this should be right up your alley. In fact, it is often called the d'Yquem of Italy. I'll leave you to decide for yourself whether or not it's just hype.

Acininobili info

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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Does no-one here like any Italian sweet wines? No Moscato?

It isn't moscato - though Maculan do a nice job with their Dindarello moscato-based dessert wine - but you should make the effort to find a bottle of Maculan's Acininobili. This is a special version of their high-end Torcolato, released only in botrytis-affected vintages. If you like d'Yquem, this should be right up your alley. In fact, it is often called the d'Yquem of Italy. I'll leave you to decide for yourself whether or not it's just hype.

Acininobili info

$66 per half bottle at retail (four times than Torcolato)... :huh:

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$66 per half bottle at retail (four times than Torcolato)... :huh:

Yes, definitely more than Torcolato, but very competitive with top Sauternes and Barsac, where the standard is set, and indeed cheaper than many German TBAs and eisweine.

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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$66 per half bottle at retail (four times than Torcolato)... :huh:

Yes, definitely more than Torcolato, but very competitive with top Sauternes and Barsac, where the standard is set, and indeed cheaper than many German TBAs and eisweine.

I was shown several German Eisweins yesterday that were under $25 a bottle wholesale. They really impressesed, especially considering the price.

Mark

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Other styles you might like to explore are ... sweet Loire wines (Parker raves about Domaine du Clos Naudin, Foreau (Vouvray) 1996).

Clos Naudin is very good, but the other top Vouvray producer is Huet and they are much easier to find, certainly here in the UK. I have had delicious moelleux (sweet) and demi-sec Huet's from several vintages, the highlight being a 1962 Clos du Bourg Moelleux. Even the demi-secs get better for decades. :biggrin:

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Clos Naudin is very good, but the other top Vouvray producer is Huet and they are much easier to find, certainly here in the UK.  I have had delicious moelleux (sweet) and demi-sec Huet's from several vintages, the highlight being a 1962 Clos du Bourg Moelleux.  Even the demi-secs get better for decades. :biggrin:

If you get to taste Huet's Cuvee Constance, you may not be held responsible for your actions. Some of the most sinful juice ever put under cork. :wub:

Edited by grandcru (log)

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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As to dessert wines, if you tell me where you live, I can suggest a couple of really good retailers who may be able to help you in your journey.

Phil, I live in Princeton, NJ

Everyone, thank you so much for such an informative thread..I've taken some notes, and plan to do some tasting after the Holidays. Lots of great ideas, suggestions, etc. ...thank you so much :smile:

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Look for the 1997 if you can,

I think it could surpass the 1990 & even the 1989 possibly, in quality.

It is drinking fabulously young also. Don't be afraid to have it on it's own.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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