DREAM ‘SWEETS’: Part 1

First off, thanks for clicking. It never ceases to amaze us that when you say something is a dessert style, people (the same ones that drink Chardonnays with 2% residual sugar and love those sweets when they are poured in their glass) scurry away. It is not a sin to like fruitier wines, nor does it mean you aren’t ‘cool’, in spite of what the populace at large might do to suggest otherwise. Far too many people act like drinking dessert wines is akin to drinking pancake syrup. But in fact the sizzling acidity that supports the great ones make them brighter and more versatile than a lot of wines out there.

Anyway, we are still fans of the genre and appreciate their place in the wine spectrum. Also, in spite of all of the negative attitude out there, we sell a lot of them…often providing we don’t say the ‘S’ word. For the moment we have a couple of gems that deserve a word. First up is the Felsina Vin Santo 2007, a fascinating and complex wine that is the result of an equally fascinating process.

The grapes in Felsina’s case are Trebbiano, Malvasia and Sangiovese that are harvested by hand and put through a rigorous sorting before the grapes are placed on mats until January/February. They are then de-stemmed and pressed, and the must is transferred to sealed, 100-litre oak casks containing the “mother” (a thick substance remaining from previous vintages).

After 7 years in storage, the cask is opened and the wine is bottle-aged for a minimum of 6 months. It’s a little bit ‘life on the edge’ because anything can happen in that closed environment for such a long period of time. When the stars align, it is magic, and this complex peach, dried apricot, carmel and spices elixir is one of those engaging examples.

Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner went off on this one saying, “The 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (375-milliliters) is a gorgeous wine with so many descriptors that apply to the ever-evolving and complex bouquet. This golden dessert wine offers distinct aromas of dried apricot, honey and saffron. But give it a few moments and earthy or autumnal tones of wild mushroom, forest floor and aged cheese also rise to the top. The effect is almost savory and definitely very sophisticated. The wine glides smoothly over the palate with creamy richness and viscous smoothness. ..94+.”

Simply a stunning way to end an evening and, if you don’t finish it, it will hold up for a few days. (Go to ‘Dream Sweets: Part 2’)