Friday, November 23, 2018

Holiday Wine: Sweet Stuff From Loupiac

The sweet wines of Bordeaux often are relegated to the dessert category, and why not?  They pair so well with dessert plates they could even serve as dessert all on their own.  However, they are not just for dessert.  They're for snacking, too.  The holidays are a great time to do some snacking.  That gym membership will still be good in January.

Non-dessert usage of Sweet Bordeaux wines was the thrust of a recent online virtual tasting in which I was invited to take part.  #GoGoldenBordeaux even supplied some tasty and savory treats to pair with the wines, just to reinforce the "opposites attract" method of wine pairing.  Snooth hosted the event, with Master of Wine Mary Gorman-McAdams also taking part.

Louis Bordenave is a "grape engineer" at the Institute of Vine and Wines Sciences, part of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.  He says the Sémillon grape is best suited for the sweet, white wines of Bordeaux that are spread out over ten appellations within BDX.  Bordenave figures that Semillon is probably the only variety native to Bordeaux among both whites and reds.
Château Dauphiné-Rondillon Loupiac 2011

Loupiac is a region in Bordeaux, just across the river from Barsac, and it's known for its sweet wines.  It's close to Sauternes and right between Cadillac and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, if you've been there.  If you’ve never had a sweet wine graced with the mineral effect of limestone soil, you're in for a treat.

Château Dauphiné-Rondillon has been in the Dauphiné family for eight generations, and they claim to have been among the leaders in selling their wines in bottles rather than barrels.  The golden tears of Loupiac was once served to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and she reportedly liked it.  At least, no one had to lose their head over it.   They think their wine is best suited to be an aperitif, but you certainly want to give it a shot with stilton and blue cheeses, white meats and spicy curries.

Master Sommelier Ian Cauble calls this Grand Vin de Bordeaux a :stunt double" for Château d'Yquem, and I sure wish I'd written that.  It's made from 80% Sémillon grapes and 20% Sauvignon Blanc and notches a 13.5% abv for alcohol.

This wine has a deep golden color and a lovely nose of honey, apricots, apples and earth.  The sweet palate brings the apricot forward more and delivers a racy acidity that will make for a good food pairing - and not just for dessert, mind you.  This will be a great sandwich wine, if you like a sweet accompaniment.


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