When you find you’re in a stick­ies sit­u­a­tion

ALL THAT ROT: A gen­eral rule is that a dessert wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with. Quite of­ten, the wine it­self can be a dessert.

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - with Re­gan Drew More at vi­nonote­book.com

SWEET wines, more com­monly re­ferred to as dessert wines or the even more friendly “stick­ies,” come in var­i­ous guises: “late har­vest” styles where grapes are left to gain as much nat­u­ral sugar as pos­si­ble be­fore har­vest­ing, and a “botry­tis” style where the “noble rot’’ fun­gus draws all the mois­ture from the grape, leav­ing be­hind su­gars and acid.

Longview Vine­yards, Epit­ome, Late Har­vest Ries­ling, 2016

Ade­laide Hills, SA. Of­ten “stick­ies” have lower al­co­hol by not be­ing for­ti­fied with brandy or grape spirit to stop the fer­ment early to re­tain plenty of su­gars. Floury ap­ple slices, trop­i­cal fruit, peach fuzz, soft wax and spritzy lime sor­bet cit­rus aro­mas. Serve with pavlova for a deca­dent af­ter­noon tea.

RATING: 8/10 RRP: $25 ALC: 9.5%

Rivers­dale Es­tate, Botry­tis Ries­ling, 2014

Coal River Val­ley, Tas­ma­nia. Awarded tro­phy for best sweet wine at the 2017 Tas­ma­nian Wine Show. Burnt lime, apri­cot ker­nel and sweaty rocket-arugula leaves. Well-bal­anced palate: the sweet lime and stone­fruit pro­vide a wrap­ping over the acid­ity that fin­ishes with a pin­point lin­ear direction. A match for lighter fruit sor­bet-based desserts.

RATING: 9/10 RRP: $34 Alc: 6.1%

De Bor­toli, Black Noble, Botry­tis Semil­lon, NV

Rive­rina, NSW. A small par­cel from the pro­duc­tion of the iconic Noble One is for­ti­fied with brandy spirit then bar­rel aged for an av­er­age of 10 years. Com­plex aro­mas: raisins, espresso cof­fee, Christ­mas pud­ding spice, nutty ran­cio (a com­bi­na­tion of wal­nut and but­ter) and dried mix fruit. It re­tains semil­lon’s juicy acid­ity and light­ness but bulked up with charred trea­cle and bit­ter­sweet cof­fee liqueur from bar­rel ag­ing. Serve with pecan pie or squares of qual­ity dark choco­late. RATING: 9/10 RRP: $36 ALC: 17.5%

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