Monday, November 26, 2018

Holiday Wines: The Cadillac of Sweet Bordeaux

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.

Chateau Manos Cadillac 2016

The Cadillac region is located in Bordeaux's Entre-Deux-Mers subregion, the area in between the  Garonne and Dordogne rivers, hence the name "between two seas."

The wine is 95% Sémillon, with the rest of the grape varieties divvied up between Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.  All were affected by botrytis, or the noble rot which produces more sugar and makes the wine sweet.  Alcohol checks in at the usual 13.5% abv.

This is a rather lightly colored sweet Bordeaux that exudes the apricot-and-earth nose I get from nearly all wines of this type.  The minerality isn't terribly strong, but it's nice just the same.  The palate is sweet and tasty with an easy acidity and a bit of a tart finish.

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