Botrytized Wines

Sauternes, a region outside of Bordeaux, produces a sweet Semillion.  When mixed properly with the dry, Bordeaux region’s Sauvignon Blanc produces a one of a kind Sautern.  The Semillion in this region is perfect to the production of this wine because of the skin of the grape is so thin and its rich in sugar it is easily acceptable to noble rot.  A natural processed used in producing the wine.  Botrytis fungus covers the small ripe grapes.  The right amount of humidity and warmth is needed to cause the fungus to spread.  For years it was nearly impossible to produce this type of wine in other regions because of the necessity of the perfect climate.  The fungus eventually eats away the skin of the grape and accepts the juices from the grape.  The fungus actually causes the grape to dehydrate and produce even more sugar.  At the same time the fungus causes the grape to loss some bit, of its already acidic charm.  After the yeast is added to the must the sugar begin to turn into alcohol.  However, the yeast is eventually killed off by the alcohol concentration.  Lots of sugar is left in the must causing a delightfully sweet wine.  Tokaji and other products world - wide wines also use this method.  However, they are not done in the Sauternes fashion, the Hungarians use four grapes instead of two.                  

 

Muscat

The Muscat family spreads into many variations and different styles.  The grape is traditionally known for its aroma.  The wine tends to be under appreciated because they are not as thick and strong as other dessert wine styles. 

 

Ice Wines  

Austria, Germany and Canada all under agreement to make ice winds in the Old World manner of letting the grape freeze naturally on the vine and hand picking these frozen grapes.  However, some other countries have gone to the lengths of indoor refrigeration.  However, these wines typically have more sugar giving the wine a more think and sweeting quality. 

 

Late Harvest Wines

The definition describes itself.  Basically, the wine maker keeps the grape on the vine for a longer period of time.  By doing this, fermentation is stopped short causing the wine to have a natural sweetness.  Some are even Botrytized, these tend to be the ones who stand out above the rest but they are very difficult to make.   

 

Dessert Wine Styles

Around 12 –14 % Alcohol By Volume

 

Standards:

Traditionally, there are five major styles of dessert wine.  However, there are no set requirements for a wine to be classified as a dessert wine.  The four styles of dessert wine would include: Botryized Wines, Muscat, Ice winds and Late-harvest.

 

Dessert Wine

Next

Back

The Art of Wine