WSDC Event - Sweet and sticky wine tasting

What: Sweet and sticky wine tasting  
When: 04 Feb 14 ,18:30 -20:30
Where: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining SW1Y 5DB map
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A very happy New Year to all!

Our first tasting of 2014 looks at the world of sweet and sticky wines – just the thing to shake off the winter blues. We start in Germany with some tongue twisting sweet Riesling wines. Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese 2008 from JJ Prum is a medium sweet wine from the Mosel with a fresh floral bouquet and just 7% alcohol. Oberemmeler Hutte Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule 2003 by Von Hövel is off-dry rather than fully sweet with a refreshing acidity. This is from our reserves and we also have a small quantity of a Beerenauslese 2004 from Carl Loewen. In the hierarchy of German and Austrian wines Spätlese, meaning late harvest, is from grapes picked at least a week after the normal harvest, Auslese, meaning selected harvest, is from late harvest grapes that are hand-picked with Gold Capsule indicating extra ripeness, and Beerenauslese, meaning selected harvest of berries, is akin to the Alsasce Sélection de Grains Nobles.

From the Alsasce itself comes Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Hatschbourg, Dopff au Moulin 2008 which is rich, powerful and spicy with exotic fruit flavours and has 12.5% alcohol. Jurancon Ballet d’Octobre 2011 is from the estate of Domaine Cauhope in the foothills of the Pyrennes. Made from manseng grapes it is a full flavoured dessert wine. Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2008 comes from Hungary and the Furmint and Hàrslevelü grapes provide aromas of apricot and spices. Wine writer Hugh Johnson was the driving force behind the founding of Royal Tokaji in 1990 seeking to restore the historic high reputation of the region.

We have two Muscat wines to compare: Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Domaine des Bernadines, 2012 and Muscat Cap Corse, Domaine Arena, 2011. We have stepped up in alcohol level now to 15% and 16% respectively for wines described as intensely sweet and full. From our reserves comes Chateau Climens 2000 which we enjoyed at the Drapers Hall two years ago and is an elegant Barsac with notes of apricot fruit.

Our last three wines are in the sticky category. Vin Santo Santa Cristina 2008 is from Tuscany; Williams & Humbert ‘As You Like It’ Amontillado is from Jerez; and Blandy’s Terrantez 20 year old is from Madeira. I will try to find some cantuccini to dip in the vin santo. The sherry is from a solera that had lain forgotten in the bodega for some 30 years but is fresh and tangy. The Madeira is from the Terrantez grape which is extremely rare on the island as it is low-yielding and awkward to grow, so little was replanted post-phylloxera.

I hope to show a couple of examples of non-European sweet wines as well. Do come and try all these wines!

Nigel Black


Dress Code: Smart casual

Guests: £33
Members: £30

Forthcoming events:
31st March 2014 – a Rhone dinner at the Travellers Club

3rd June 2014 – Club annual general meeting followed by a 1980s claret dinner at the Savile Club

Booking Form

Vintages available from The Wine Society:
Jurançon Ballet d'Octobre, Domaine Cauhapé 2012