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SAPROS - some like it sweet

by Tom Cannavan, 08/02

See also: a profile of Sapros, the natural botrytis wine movement

Domaine Philippe Delesvaux (Loire) Coteaux du Layon "Sélection de Grains Nobles" 1999
This has a fine egg-custard nose with plenty of figgy richness, nuts and full peach and apricot fruit. The palate is mellow and fully sweet, with luscious texture and fine mineral acidity into a long finish.

Château de Suronde (Loire) Quarts de Chaume 1997
Gorgeously sweet apple and pear nose, layered with quince, citrus and acaicia honey. The palate is super-sweet with marzipan overtones to luscious, searingly ripe fruit that is long and pure into a finish sharpened by good acidity.

Domaine François Chidaine (Loire) Montlouis "Les Lys" 1999
Les Lys is made only in exceptional years: there was none between 1990 and 1996. It is fresh and bright with gentle apricot fruit and a beautifully delineated sweet palate of nectarines and musky, exotic richness. Long and lush, but beautifully balanced.

Domaine de Bongran (Burgundy) Macon-Villages "Cuveé Levroutée" 1995
This is the middle of Thévenets three-tier range, mostly from late-harvest grapes. It has an unusual nose of honeyed peach skins and custard apples. The palate is gripped by powerful acidity, with notes of orange and grapefruit.

Château Guiraud (Bordeaux) Sauternes 1998
Opulent nose of vanilla, peach, pineapple and coconut with just a hint of tea and honey. Full-bodied and very luscious, with peach syrup and nectarine fruit and a core of mineral acidity to lengthen the finish.

Domaine Pierre Gaillard (Rhône) Condrieu Sélection de Grains Nobles 1999
Light, fragrant pear fruit on the nose; floral and pure. Clean, fresh palate has a good weight of fruit. Mandarin orange and ripe peach, and a hint of exotic spice. Medium-bodied and very long.

André Ostertag (Alsace) Gewürztraminer Fronholz Vendanges Tardive 1998
Beautifully honeyed orange fruit, candied and rich and very aromatic. There's a steely edge on the palate to racy orange and sweet plum fruit, full and spicy with good length.

Marcel Deiss, Alsace Gewürztraminer Vendanges Tardive 1994
Smoky nose with lots of schisty quality and fine orange fruit. Honeyed and rich with syrupy, sweet fruit on the palate, hints of fig and brioche and lovely wieght into a tantalising, long finish.