Wine of the Week

(by peter & susie)

By and large, we don’t drink much sweet wine.

We tend to prefer other styles and, by the time we’re at the end of a special meal, we’re probably already thinking about the next morning’s invariably early start with the kids – something that acts as a powerful deterrent to further indulgence.

We might make exceptions for a delicious tawny port with cheese, or a top-notch Tokaji, German Riesling or aged Vin Santo. But even then, it’s a rare extravagance for us.

So any sweet wine which impresses us has to be pretty special. Step forward the Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2010, 10.5% (£14.79 for 37.5cl,; Waitrose have the 2009 and will be moving onto the 2010 shortly at £13.99).

We road tested this (unsolicited sample) with friends for Sunday lunch with a plum crumble and it went down a treat. We re-tested it later at leisure and it was even better.

The aromatics are full of honeyed apricots and roasted apples, with hints of lime marmalade and kumquat. On the palate, it’s pure, intense and succulent, driven by a wonderfully tangy acidity but balanced by a luxuriant richness which is smooth and utterly decadent.

What’s more, it’s only 10.5%, so easy on the head!

We both gave it an enthusiastic 7.5/10.

It’s perhaps not the most complex sweet wine in the world, but in its purity, focus and invigorating character, it’s a brilliant wine. While it’s not cheap, in the context of world-class sweet wines, which are expensive to make, it represents decent value.

A great match for puddings such as crème caramel, crumbles or anything featuring oranges or tropical fruits like mango or pineapple.