Three sweet treats
Don’t leave them just for dessert time. With their luscious, saucy, high-impact flavours and lighter levels of alcohol, sweet wines can be embraced any time of day.
Pegasus Bay Aria Late-Picked Riesling 2013 750ml
The Donaldson family, in Waipara, North Canterbury craft this sweet treat only in years when the conditions are exceptional. It looks like a glossy yellow diamond in the glass, then assails the nostrils with candied lime, melon, mango, beeswax and grapefruit marmalade. All these good things soak through on to the palate. But fear not, the sweetness of the citrus and honey is balanced out with lip-smacking acidity and a super-zesty, fleshy character on the finish. The Aria is also one of New Zealand's best value sweet treats - and you can buy it in a full-size 750ml bottle rather than the usual 375ml.
Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Noble Riesling 2014
It's hard to believe grapes that look so ugly can make wine this gorgeous. But Waiheke Island's Mudbrick have sourced their mouldy, grey grapes from the southern climes of Marlborough to create something seriously delicious. Boasting marmalade, fig, honeyed stonefruit and Jungle Juice (for children of the 70s) notes on the nose, followed by bright mandarin, and masses of spicy, citrus concentration, this is the absolute perfect partner for creme brulee or a wedge of creamy blue served on gingerbread.
Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Late Harvest chenin blanc 2013
Chenin blanc is rare here, there's precious little about even in a good year, so for Simon Waghorn and his team to have a crack at making a late-harvest style was pretty risky - but it paid off. With sweet, smoky guava, a squeak of apple pie and soft, honeyed notes on the palate, it's rich, generous, laid-back and darn lovely served with a large chunk of aged gouda.
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