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Assorted Dessert Wines


I decided to step outside the comfortable selections of Sauternes to taste more affordable dessert wines.  Of the three featured in this post I would recommend the Chambers, Muscat.  The flavors are rather enjoyable and while unctuous and rich, it is not overwhelming.  I am now rather curious to try some of their older selections.  I picked up the Cave des Vignerons de Saint Jean de Minervois because I had enjoyed the 1996 Domaine Simon, Clos Bagatelle.  This wine is made by the cooperative which was established in 1955 and is the largest producer in the appellation.  Through modern vinification they have produced an affordable introduction to the region.  The Chambers Rosewood and Vignerons de Saint Jean de Minervois are available at Total Wine of Manassas.  The Tabali is available at MacArthur Beverages.

NV Chambers Rosewood Vineyards, Muscat, Rutherglen  – $12
Imported by Old Bridge Cellars.  This wine is 100% Muscat a Petit Grains which has been aged in a solera system using older oak casks for six to ten years.  TA 3.6 g/L, Alcohol 18%.  The color is a light to medium tawny and amber.  The nose is of sweet black tea and muscat.  In the mouth the flavors are unctuous and a little spicy at first.  There is a lot of residual sugar which has a honeyed texture, rich, dried fruit, black tea oils, and a spicy finish.  Actually, quite nice for the price with enough acidity to keep things going.  *** Now-2019.

NV Cave des Vignerons de Saint Jean de Minervois, Resplandy, Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois – (375 mL) $12.
Imported by Clock Tower Imports.  This wine is 100% Muscat which undergoes mutage.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose reveals fresh white flowers along with thyme or some other herb.  The mouth follows the nose with a good level of residual sugar and mouth feel.  The wine is fresh in profile with good flavor but not too broad and a little short of depth.  The finish is a little oily with some spice in the aftertaste.  The residual sugar coats the lips.  With air a dried black tea note develops on the nose.  ** Now – 2015.

2009 Vina Tabali, Late Harvest Muscat, Reserva, Limari Valley – $11
Imported by SWG Imports.  This wine is 100% Pink Muscat which was aged in stainless steel.   RS 79.8 g/L, TA 4.55 g/L, pH 3.32, alcohol 12.5%.  A light yellow color.  The nose has aromas of low-level rich fruit and upon further inspection, something odd.  In the mouth the flavors start off promising with rich, ripe yellow fruit which is slightly racy with integrated acidity.  Then things turn odd with an earthy, musty flavor that comes out.  Perhaps some bad fruit made it in? * Now.

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