Big dinners, dark nights are a good time to wrap things up with a little sweet sip of something special. A lot of these are in smaller bottles and just perfect for two.
Sauternes & other Botrytised wines
2016 Domaine Labranche Laffont, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh $23
100% Petit Manseng
A southwest French dessert wine with concentrated aromas of confectionary, fruits (oven baked apple, pear, and apricot) and honey with notes of vanilla and praline. A delicious twist. 375 ml
2009 Château De Cérons, Cérons $20
90% Sémillion, 5% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle
The richness of the vintage is very apparent in this luscious, still-young wine. A dry core of botrytis rests on flavors of bitter-orange marmalade, apricot, acidity and spice from wood aging. — 375 ml
2006 Château Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes $38
Unctuous, sporting apricot, glazed pear and creamed melon flavors, with a lush coconut-tinged finish. A nice floral hint weaves in and out, adding length and vivacity, too. 375 ml $22
2011 Rieussec, Sauternes $85
95% Semillon, 2% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Muscadelle
Intense, with ginger, yellow apple chutney, dried pineapple and papaya flavors coursing through a finish that brims with singed almond and lemon chiffon flavors. This retains a touch of youthful rawness, featuring a bitter orange note that’s yet to be absorbed. Best from 2018 through 2040.
2016 Quady Electra $12
Beautiful rose petal, orange blossom and honey flavors practically leap out of the glass as this sweet, lightly sparkling and nicely concentrated wine works its charms. It has good acidity to balance all the sugary sweetness, and a low alcohol strength. 375 ml
2017 Schlink Haus Beeranauslese $16
Harvested of individually-hand-selected overripe berries. Rare and remarkably rich, this is a wine that should be enjoyed with dessert or by itself on special occasions. Fragrant, aromatic, full-bodied, with a pleasant sweetness. –375 ml
Quady Essensia $15
The Essencia has aromas reminiscent of Orange Blossom and Apricot, and a lingering refreshing aftertaste. The wine is lightly fortified to about 15% alcohol and aged for 3 months in French Oak. 375 ml –
2016 Evolúció Late Harvest Tokaj $15
Amber in the glass with an intense aroma of summer fruits and citrus. It is unctuous and elegant on the palate, with dried apricot, juicy mango and plum. Intense and fresh with exceptional acidity.
2016 Marani Satrapezo Rkatsiteli Ice Wine $30
Dense and sticky, it exposes ripe poached pears, candied berry, honey and golden raisin aromas. Vibrant fruit flavors accented by the natural sweetness are well balanced with embedded orange zest. The finish is fresh with fruity core leading to a tantalizing citrus and lingering aftertaste.
Campobello, Il Santo $15
80% Trebbiano, 20% Malvasia
Il Santo is a fortified version of the classic Tuscan dessert wine, Vin Santo. The bouquet is bursting with aromas of apricots, honey, and candied orange peel. Produced by incorporating a small amount of brandy into the blend, Il Santo is higher in alcohol and residual sugar, rendering it richer in style.
2009 San Felice, Vin Santo $25
75% Trebbiano, 25% Malvasia
The classic Italian desert wine made from dried grapes and aged four years in barrel. Medium-sweet, it has an expansive palate with evolving notes of honey, seductively laced with toasted almond. 375ml
2011 Tenuta San Vito, Malmantico Vin Santo del Chianti $48
San Vito’s Organic Vin Santo is thick and intense in the mouth, has aromas of apricots and orange blossom, followed by a caramel, nut and raisin-rich palate with a hint of honey and cream on the finish. 375ml
Madeira & Marsala
Ostinato Marsala Dolce $13
A sweet Marsala that is delicious, balanced and refined. It resonates with deep vinous character and is produced according to traditional methods that are now rarely seen in the appellation, especially in Fine expressions. Very complex for the money. 500ml
Belem Madeira $14
100% Tinta Negra
Aged for a minimum of three years in old oak casks, Belém’s Madeira – Meio Seco is ‘medium-dry’ and, at 17% abv, is notable for its vinous character and concentration. In the kitchen, it is your secret weapon: delicious as an aperitif or in cocktails, it especially excels in the cook’s arsenal, ready to be deployed in marinades, glazes and reductions; for seafood, poultry or game — all while you enjoy a pre-prandial glass. 500ml
Broadbent 5-year-old Madeira Reserve $28
With its dark gold color and sweet, nutty aromas, this is on the rich side of the Madeira taste spectrum. It has attractive fruitiness and aged citrus acidity that go together, leaving a wine that is both sweet but also fresh.
2004 Francesco Intorcia Heritage Superiore Ambra Dolce Marsala $20
Consistent and intense, with assertive notes of honey, caramel and carob, apricot and candied orange peel, pine nuts, almonds and walnut. Full on the palate, smooth and honeyed, with just the right equilibrium between freshness and alcohol impact. Persistent and elegantly structured. Was $30 now $20
Port & Banyuls
Kopke, 10-year-old Tawny $15
A blend of different vintages averaging 10 years old. 375ml
Mas Blanc, Hors d’ Age Banyuls $24
Made from old-vine Grenache noir aged in demi-muid. The wine is a blend of three vintages with reserve wine from the previous blend of vintages in a roughly 2/3 to 1/3 proportion. Balanced, poised and energetic, the specified vintages lend vibrancy and exuberance; the reserve wine depth and complexity. 375ml
2015 Dow’s, Late Bottled Porto $25
This is a quite fine, fruit driven, plummy, licorice and vanilla scented port. Not a lot of complexity, but there is generous fruit. Elegance and smoothness reign, with a chalky dusty finish. Very good length with a touch of flinty minerality. –375 ML for $14
2013 Menéres, Late Bottled Port $22
The special characteristics of this LBV are its richness, depth of flavor and powerful, attractive bouquet. It is bold and mouth filling. In order to retain as much depth as possible, the blend has been bottled as Vintage Port, without any stabilization. As a result, the port may throw a small deposit. Extremely limited. 500 cases made. Unfiltered
2013 Quinta da Romaneira, Late-Bottled Vintage Porto $26
40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Tinto Cão
This LBV ages for 5 years in wooden vat to give it the character of an aged port. The wine has intense aromas of crushed berries and red fruits. It is rich and elegant on the palate with spice, raisins and red fruit flavors and a velvety but firm tannic structure that’s leads to a luscious long finish.
2004 Royal Oporto, Vintage Port $28
A good deal on a real Vintage Port in the perfect size bottle. — 375 ml
2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria, Vintage Port $60
Powerful this year, this is a big boy in terms of structure, showing astringency on the finish, yet it seems also to show fine balance overall, managing to project some elegance, notwithstanding its underlying power. The graceful mid-palate is beautifully constructed, not jammy or thick, but still concentrated. It has a persistent finish. Beneath the oaky overlay, there is fine fruit as well as that impressive structure. This promises to be exceptional if you have a little patience. — 95pts Wine Advocate
2005 Quinta da Romaneira, Vintage Porto $50
50% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Francesa, 20% Tinto Cão
The grapes were trodden by foot and fermented in traditional granite ‘lagares’. This wine aged 20 months in wooden barrels in the cellars of the Quinta before bottling. It should age in bottle for 8 to 15 years before attaining the complexity and bouquet characteristic of a Vintage. A powerful wild aromatic nose, deep concentrated fruit, and a powerful but fine tannic structure make this a remarkable Vintage Port.
1999 Casa de Santa, Eufemia Vintage Port $52
A rare Portuguese grower-owned port houses. The brothers that now own it and their family have been growers since 1894, but only since the formation of the EU in 1986 have they been able to bottle their own wines. The 1999 is a real stunner. Weighty and vibrant, the wine billows forth with luscious blackberry compote, boysenberry, kirsch liqueur and a hint of anise. The structure is evident but this wine is wide open at present.
1999 Smith Woodhouse, Madalena Vintage Port $50
In non-declared years, Smith Woodhouse offers a small amount of single vineyard Vintage Port from Madalena. This mature vintage port is showing a very ripe, sweet nose of baked plum, raisin, molasses and well-integrated tannins.