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Port & Dessert Wine

Domaine La Tour Vieille Rimage Banyuls 2012

Domaine La Tour Vieille Rimage Banyuls 2012

'Tis the season for fortified dessert wines, and Banyuls is, of course, no exception. This budget-friendly Kermit Lynch import from Domaine La Tour Vieille offers up a welcome bouquet of plums, prunes, sultana, and dark chocolate shavings. Composed of 45 year-old Grenache and Carignan vines grown in schist soils, it's full-bodied and somewhat one-dimensional on the palate. Even so, at a price point that's less than $25.00, there's ample drinking pleasure crammed into the bottle. 500 ml | 16.5% ABV Domaine La Tour Vieille 8.8 Points...

Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2010

Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2010

A decadent elixir, Castelnau de Suduiraut is the second label of Château Suduiraut—in an excellent vintage like 2010, it offers fabulous QPR—and is exactly the sort of wine I'm inclined to haul out of my cellar during the holidays. Lavishly layered aromas of dried apricot, quince, dried orange peel, sultana, and crème brûlée rise from the glass. The impression of richness, a glycerol-rich palate, a well of honeyed fruit that is only interrupted a coursing and singular thread of of minerality on the finish. Château Suduiraut 9.1 Points...

Commanderie Saint john 1947

Commanderie St. John 1947

A rarity from Cyprus, composed of sun-dried indigenous grapes, Xynisteri and Mavro. The Commanderie Saint John 1947 is a resonant, deep amber brown in the glass that boasts a welcome and pleasantly oxidized range of aromas—Dalmatia orange-fig spread, espresso, walnut shells, and sultana. Burnished by time, this is a solera-aged dessert wine, with its oldest components dating back to 1947, it was bottled by the KEO Group in the 1970s. The palate matches the nose, with a dried fruit core that languidly spreads across the palate, capable of warming even the dreariest of days. KEO Group 9.3 Points  ...

Vietti Moscato d'Asti Cascinetta 2015

Vietti Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta 2015

An affordable holiday bubbly—Vietti's 2015 Moscato d'Asti Cascinetta has a classic profile for the varietal. Lovely notes of baked apple and poached pear lie well beneath granulated honey, star gazer lilly and chamomile. At 5% ABV, it's quaffable and charming. — August 11, 2017 I have a weakness for Vietti's Moscato d'Asti Cascinetta, the 2015 is no exception, offering a nose of honey, chamomile and bruised pear. Nice concentration and viscosity with enough acidity to keep it light and lively. Yes! — November 27, 2016 Vietti 8.9 Points...

Szent Tamás Teleki Palack Tokaji Késői Szüretelésű 2012

Szent Tamás Teleki Palack Tokaji Késői Szüretelésű 2012

I suspect, giving this wine's lushness, this is Hárslevelű or a blend of Furmint and Hárslevelű. Lemon yellow in the glass with opulent notes of apricot and ripe mango, honeysuckle and a classic botrytised nose. It’s full and viscous on the palate with plump apricot at the core followed by cardamom and Seville orange marmalade. The minerality is not as pronounced as in some of the Szent Tamás’ vineyard designate wines, there is, however a lovely vein of acidity to keep richness in check. Sample Szent Tamás 9.2 Points...

Szent Tamás Tokaji Nyulászó 2013

Szent Tamás Tokaji Nyulászó 2013

More Hungarian splendor—the 2013 Szent Tamás Nyulászó boasts a wonderful inner luminescence. Quietly elegant notes of bosc pear, almond, orange marmalade, and quince are the hallmark of this single vineyard designate. Nyulászó is one of Tokaj's grand crus, and the vines are seated in brick-hued volcanic soils rich in zeolite, at the crest of the South-Zemplén Mountains. Aging in Hungarian oak has gifted this blend of Furmint and Hárslevelű with softly glowing transparency and texture. Minerality shines through. 13.0% ABV 3.1 g/l RS | Sample Szent Tamás 9.2 Points...

Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny 2000

Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny 2000

The 2000 Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny is superb, showing warm and welcoming notes of caramel, dried fruit, honey, sultana along with a pinch of toast. The mind immediately jumps to pairings like stilton, Roquefort, or dried fruit, though, surprisingly the staff at Noval recommend trying it with fresh carrot, unpeeled. I love the this Port's vibrancy and balance, the palate bright, like a newly minted penny, it's brimming over with walnut shells, figs, golden raisins, and spice cake. Just lovely. 20.5% ABV | Sample Quinta do Noval 9.4 Points...

Szepsy Tokaji Szent Tamás Furmint 2013

Szepsy Tokaji Szent Tamás Furmint 2013

What a tremendous gift to taste the legendary Szepsy wines with István Szepsy Sr., while visiting the Tokaj region last week. The wines are impeccable, as is the case with the Szent Tamás Furmint 2013. Pungent aromas of quince and orange, one might call this wine pretty, were it not for its serious underlying structure. Minerality, tightly wound, ricochets through intense, capacious layers, homing in on the finish—a final volcanic, terroir-driven, granitic burst that makes these wines so compelling and unique. Szepsy Winery 9.2 Points...

Szepsy Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2008

Szepsy Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2008

My first Aszú, and what better way to taste it than in the Tokaj with István Szepsy Sr., a 17th generation winemaker. It's amber colored and viscous with magnetic aromas of marmalade and dried apricot, fleshy quince, burnt caramel, nutmeg and dust. On the the palate, this wine's considerable gravity, a honeyed elixir with an RS of 280 g/L has density, and yet, there is lightness and elegance too, felt along an acidic spine that is complicated by flinty smoky notes, crushed stones, walnut skins, and wild mushroom. Sample Szepsy Winery 9.7 Points...

MÁD Tokaj Kesoi Late Harvest 2013

MÁD Tokaj Kesoi Late Harvest 2013

I had the good fortune to have spent time with István Szepsy Jr. while in Tokaji's Mád village, from which this wine takes its name. This is a late harvest Furmint-Hárslevelű endowed with pungent botrytisized aromas of dried mango, yellow peach, apricot, orange blossom and nougatine, it's profile on the nose mirrors that of that palate. What is perhaps defining about these wines is, aside from the stunning value of price for quality, is the cascading minerality that carves a canyon through lush layers of fruit and spice. 11.0% ABV Sample MÁD Winery 9.0 Points...