One of the first dessert wines I ever tasted was a Black Muscat. It was a revelation, an epiphany, the dawn of a new day. Without overselling the moment, I very much enjoyed it. Since then I've reveled in each sweetie that came my way, although they have remained an addition to my wine interests, not a replacement. Even the good dessert wines, like Sauternes, can get to be a bit much if you concentrate on them at the expense of everything else.
Ferrari-Carano Eldorado Noir, Russian River Valley 2015
This is a dessert wine made from Black Muscat grapes that were grown in the Russian River Valley. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation, which tends to impart a creaminess by converting one type of acid to another. There was seven months cave aging in older barrels. Tasters online liked the idea of pairing it with bread pudding or triple chocolate cake. One wanted a well-marbled rib eye. The wine’s alcohol is a very reasonable 12.4% abv, while the residual sugar is 12.7%.
This is one amazing dessert wine, possibly one for people who say they don't like dessert wines. The nose is deep and dark, just like the color, and smells like sugary tar with a black licorice backbeat. The sweetness is perfectly counterbalanced by the savory side. On the palate, it's all black currant and berries, with a streak of earth right down the middle. The tannins are medium firm and the acidity is somewhat low, so it's really sippable, but it also pairs well with soft cheese or a fruit dish.
Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter