Assorted sweet and strong TNs

This rather random collection of 19 tasting notes is grouped according to whether they are fortified or not, and presented in descending score order. The picture is of Domaine Jones' old Grenache bush vines in Roussillon, the sort that supply so many sweet wines in that corner of the world.


SWEET

Pellegrino, Passito Liquoroso 2015 Pantelleria

RS 144g/l. Pale tawny. Obviously raisined and wood aged on the nose. Smells of spicy wood and then on the palate there's a whole range of dried citrus peel and spices with  notes of the dried fruits found in Sicilian cannolli. Attractive dry, persistent finish. Lots going on here! A distinctive style. VGV

15%
Drink
2017
2021
£11.50 per 37.5 cl RRP Eton Vintners. Wineman, South Downs Cellar
17

De Bortoli, Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 2013 Riverina

This screwcapped half-bottle doesn't have the word Botrytis on the front label but it is mentioned on the back label. RS 135g/l. Deep coppery gold with amber highlights. Straightforward glucosey nicely balanced luscious sweet mango fruit with sufficient passion-fruit notes to keep it fresh. VGV

10.5%
Drink
2017
2019
£6 per 37.5 cl Tesco
16.5

Dom Jones, Muscat Moelleux 2016 Vin de France

So clean and fresh!  From small-berried Muscat with lovely crisp, sweet peachy fruit and refreshing acidity on the finish. Very easy to sip without food, and not that sweet so probably best served with cheese or fruity desserts. Not complex enough to age but delightful now.

10%
Drink
2017
2018
£11.99 per 50 cl Naked Wines
16.5

Markus Huber, Riesling Auslese 2015 Niederösterreich

RS 110g/l. Mid greenish straw. Ripe whitecurrants bursting with flesh on the nose. Very pure and satisfying without being super-sweet but with great balance and not much alcohol. Very useful? Not sweet enough for a very sweet dessert but it would be lovely with a fruit-based or creamy one. Unusual. 

6.5%
Drink
2017
2020
£14 per 37.5 cl Oddbins
16

Seifried, Sweet Agnes Riesling Auslese 2016 Nelson

Waitrose offered the 2015 at £15.49 a half. Bright greenish gold. Much more luscious than the Huber Riesling Auslese with marked acidity. Clean as a whistle with lime sherbet notes and lots of sweetness even if not that much body. Not that complex but very lively. Over time it just might get a little cloying?

10.5%
Drink
2017
2020
£19 per 37.5 cl RRP
16

Torres, Floralis Oro Moscatel NV Vino de Licor

Pale tawny. Pretty heavy and marmaladey (surely Muscat of Alexandria?) but with a pretty floral nose and packaging that is doing its damnedest to make this look refreshing. Just the right side of syrupy, and certainly much more sprightly than typical Spanish Moscatel.

15%
Drink
2017
2018
£8 per 50 cl RRP Waitrose, Morrisons, Mitchell Vintners, Roberts & Speight, Peak Wine
15.5

STRONG

Quinta do Noval 2015 Port

Touriga Naçional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão. RS 94 g/l.
Impeccable fruit aroma, punchy caramel and toffee character, compressed floral aromatic quality. Loads of aromatic range, but extremely young, of course. Yet the tannin is ready to drink – and that primary fruit is so compelling! (RH)

19.5%
Drink
2022
2045
£72 Oddbins
18.5

Taylor's, Very Old Single Harvest 1968 Port

Green-rimmed, brownish deep tawny. Very fruity, clean nose with only the merest hint of spirit and lots of rancio. Excellent balance of sweetness and tanginess. Vanilla and orange peel. Very long, walnut-flavoured finish. Satisfying. A useful present for those celebrating a fiftieth birthday this year?

Drink
2017
2019
£175 RRP for 75cl in a wooden gift box Hedonism, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges
17.5

Barbeito, Ribeiro Real Tinta Negra NV Madeira

Labelled Medium Sweet/Meio Doce Lote 1'.Rich marmalade tint to crystal clear colour. Tasted just after Leacock's 2001 Tinta Negra, this seems to have more lift and depth. 

19%
Drink
2016
2030
£30-77 for 50cl (Germany to Portugal)
17.5

Kopke, 10 Year Old White NV Port

Glowing amber. Malvasia Fina, Códega, Sercial and Gouveio blend aged in wood.  RS 118 g/l.
Quite markedly rancio on the nose already with rich undercurrents of dried apricots. The wood is very much part of this wine!  But there is certainly peachy, quite complex fruit here. Extremely tangy, refreshing finish and sore-throat-healing smooth persistence on the finish. Very distinctive and fresher and more transparent that most white ports. Packaged in a smart white-stencilled black half-bottle and wooden carrying case. It could make quite a handsome present. (A wine of the week this time last year.)

20%
Drink
2015
2023
£22 for 37.5cl Oddbins
17

Emilio Lustau, Oloroso NV Jerez – Xérès – Sherry

This wine, clearly labelled Dry, is presumably even more concentrated than the Palo Cortado in the range. Pale brown with the fresh scent of rancio and long-aged nutty sherry. Hint of molasses on the nose and really pungent and interesting. A completely absurd price. Real layers to this bone-dry wine that clearly has a considerable average age. VVVGV

20%
Drink
0
0
£6 per 37.5 cl Morrisons
17

Quinta do Noval, Single Vineyard Late Bottled Vintage 2011 Port

Single vineyard it may be but that vineyard extends over 145 ha – albeit one of the most admired in the Douro. Unfiltered and from a stellar vintage. Designed to be a precocious version of vintage port. Very deep garnet. Tannins almost subsumed in a rich compote of mulberries and liquorice. What the heck is not to like? Great that it is relatively easy to find too. No need for decanting palaver at this point but you could age it for years, after which it will throw a sediment and need decanting. 

19.5%
Drink
2017
2030
£22.50 RRP Oddbins, Justerini & Brooks, Ocado and various independents
17

Kopke, Colheita 2003 Port

Very pale fox red with pale shading at the rim. Very light but alluring and intriguing nose. Delicate with hints of rancio but real lift and freshness. Dried fruit and walnuts. So different from a vintage port! A real arabesque of a wine. Clean and fresh. Great integrity with only the merest hint of woodiness on the end. Very long and lusciously but not excessively sweet. Still a bit of tannin on the end. GV

20%
Drink
2016
2023
£16.99 per 37.5cl Majestic
17

Kopke, Colheita 1987 Port

Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca. RS 130 g/l.
More spirity on the nose than their 1998. Creamy, milk chocolate, fig and prune plus a very slight minty character. Loads of intriguing, esoteric variety to enjoy on the palate. (RH)

20%
Drink
2017
2027
£35 per half Oddbins
17

Blandy's Verdelho 2000 Madeira

Delightfully transparent pale tawny with a tiny hint of old wood on the nose but this went beautifully with cheese. Only slightly sweet and then with masses of refreshing acidity. GV considering the age. Very revitalising. Much more expensive in Portugal than in Germany, and France.

20%
Drink
2016
2030
£30-77 for 50cl (Germany to Portugal), £55-60 RRP in UK
17

Emilio Lustau, Fino NV Jerez – Xérès – Sherry

I had to highlight the size of the bottle because this wine is so incredibly – almost brutally – cheap. And I see from Morrisons' website that it even earned a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge. Fresh, lifted and fine as a daisy on the nose. It wouldn't win any prizes for glamour of packaging but it must be one of the wine bargains on the high street. Or at least in the out-of-town mall. Bready, substantial, pungent finish. Bone dry and wonderfully persistent. Appetiser incarnate. VVGV

15%
Drink
0
0
£5.50 per 75cl Morrisons
16.5

Emilio Lustau NV Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda

I wonder why this is so much more potent than most Manzanillas? Smells a little old rather than lovely and fresh. This is round and even slightly oily. For sherry aficionados who would probably have the perfect food match – but a distinctly unusual style of Manzanilla. Nutty and interesting. Masses of grip and a bit of alcohol on the dry finish.  Perhaps it should be sold as a Manzanilla Pasada?

17%
Drink
0
0
£6 per 37.5 cl Morrisons
16.5

Emilio Lustau, Amontillado NV Jerez – Xérès – Sherry

This really does look as though marketed to winos. Lustrous pale amber – not at all the colour of most commercial Amontillados. My mother might have thought there was something amiss. Light but very slightly sweaty nose. Very lifted and light with some (rather bolted-on) sweetness but good balance. Really rather delicate. It seems as though the Morrisons sherry buyer was determined to do something different!  A good wine – could be served with confidence with soups and shellfish – so long as the litre bottle were well hidden.

17.5%
Drink
0
0
£7 per 100 cl Morrisons
16.5

Emilio Lustau Pedro Ximénez NV Jerez – Xérès – Sherry

Subtly shaded mid walnut brown with a suggestion of gamboge at the rim. Very sweet and raisiny on the nose – not much lift! Very syrup of figs on the front palate and then a hint of rancio on the end suggesting there is some much older wine in here. Not exactly appetising but there is decent freshness on the end and this would be great for pouring over ice cream.  VGV

17%
Drink
0
0
£6 per 37.5 cl Morrisons
16.5

Kopke, Colheita 1999 Port

Shaded amber. Pale yellow notes on the rim. Dense, dried raisin and walnuts on the nose. This is more concentrated than the Colheita 2003 with dry walnut skin notes on the finish. Very lively. Dry finish. Not as fresh, nor as graceful, as the 2003. Dry end. But certainly vigorous. Quite a bit of bite on the end.

20%
Drink
2017
2023
£32.99 Waitrose
16.5

Kopke, Colheita 1998 Port

Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca. RS 94 g/l.
Loads of nut and varnish aroma, heady alcohol and delicious marzipan fruit. Tonnes of spicy character to finish. (RH)

20%
Drink
2018
2022
£45 Oddbins
16.5

Leacock, Tinta Negra Colheita 2001 Madeira

'Doce, Rich' it says on the front label and it is. A hint of polish and lime zest. Well balanced and very clean. Able to give just as much pleasure as any other madeira at its price level, I'm sure. Interesting to see The Madeira Wine Company following the lead of Babeito to selling varietal Tinta Negra.

19%
Drink
2016
2026
£30-77 for 50cl (Germany to Portugal), £40-45 RRP UK
16.5

Emilio Lustau, Palo Cortado NV Jerez – Xérès – Sherry

Pale greenish amber. Rather sweaty nose. A bit too light and sour for absolute comfort. I'd guess some components from some pretty old, not necessarily pristine, casks might be in the blend. A bit of painfully concentrated acidity on the end. But a marvel for the price!

19%
Drink
0
0
£6 per 37.5 cl Morrisons
16

Rey Fernando de Castilla Pedro Ximénez NV Jerez – Xérès – Sherry

Dark walnut brown. Coats the inside of the glass, it's so viscous. Very sweet and luscious at the start and very syrupy. Not that much interest apart from the overwhelming sweetness. Not actually as interesting, nor as fresh, as the cheaper Morrisons version. 

175%
Drink
0
0
£20 Woodwinters, Hennings, Latitude Wines
16

Noval, 10 Year Old Tawny NV Port

Looks relatively youthful with its carmine notes, although it is much paler than any port with the word 'vintage' in its name. Very slightly musty on the nose (from an old colheita ingredient?) and then sweet and with – the first time I have noted this flavour in a wine – a hint of semolina before a very slightly scrawny (as opposed to mellow) finish. Not the finest Noval 10-year-old tawny I have tasted but the 2011 LBV more than makes up for it.

19.5%
Drink
2018
2022
£25 RRP Waitrose, Oddbins, Ocado
15.5
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