Ridiculously good value sweet Rivesaltes
Parcé Frères Rivesaltes Vin Doux Naturel 1996, France, 16.5%
(£14, The Wine Society)
We served this wine blind to the 30 Master of Wine students who valiantly came to Winchester to practice for their tasting exams at our annual boot camp.
While not everyone identified it correctly, most of us were astonished at what good value it was. Its rich, nutty and sweet but beautifully balanced, with flavours of roasted fruits and muscovado sugar. As it happened, this was the last wine the students tasted of the 36 in total spread across the three days. It was perfect in this context: reviving and restoring spirits, definitely one to be relished. (Do note that you have to be a member of the Wine Society to buy their wines – but it’s one of the country’s best wine retailers so it’s well worth joining up if you’re serious about your wine.) (Peter and Susie, May 2016, 8/10)