I tasted a lot of good dessert wines at the recent Salon des vins de Québec, Quebec City’s first-ever large-scale wine fair. Some great Sauternes and Barsac, a terrific Recioto del Soave by Pieropan, and some nice ice wine.
But for this first post on The Tawny Times, I figured I would taste outside the box. Which is easy enough, when you get to taste a dessert wine made from 100% Spanish Merlot.
That’s right. A late harvest merlot from Pago del Vicario, a winery founded in 2000 near Ciudad Real, in Central Spain. Susana López Mendiondo, the winemaker, who trained with Peter Sisseck, of Pingus fame, makes a point of making non-traditional wines, it seems, as a solid rosado made from 100% petit verdot clearly demonstrates.
The 2004 Merlot Dulce tasted like a light, fresh young port, without the touriga nacional (and co.) character. A bit of spice, but mostly a lot of ripe, fresh fruit, good length and just a lot of yumminess. At 14.5% alcohol, it’s less alcoholic than a lot of “dry” California and Aussie reds, but without the heaviness.
Besides drinking it with great pleasure, I’d love to pour it over vanilla ice cream, or, why not, even make an ice cream flavored with it. Truly lovely stuff.
Here’s a link to PDF format tasting notes on the Dulce. Enjoy!