There's a whole world of sweet wines out there,

and we aim to try them all, seeing as a continuous diet of Yquem would doubtless prove tedious. As Trollope says, "It may be said that nothing in the world is charming unless it be achieved at some trouble. If it rained '64 Leoville - which I regard as the most divine of nectars - I feel sure that I should never raise it to my lips."

So to the Texas High Plains, the somewhat implausible source of Two Sisters late harvest Chardonnay (01998, technical cork) from the Fredricksburg Winery.

It looked wonderful, an intense greenish gold, like old brass lying on a sunlit streambed, but thereafter, ah me.

The nose was very strong, cloying, heavy, old. It smelt of cloves. The palate was clean, very sweet, and empty. Sad to say, the wine was gone: the little genie had fled the bottle. This wine could not be scored. But there will be others. Onwards and upwards!


Gavi Bricco Battistina

B was in Edinburgh yesterday, and the call of Valvona and Crolla was irresistable. In amongst the other tasties was a bottle of Gavi Bricco Battistina, from Araldica Vini Piemontesi. (02003, cork)

A very shiny pale gold, the wine had a mature nose faintly reminiscent of champagne - stony, watery, slightly spicy. The palate was dry and full, very satisfying and with a good bitter finish. The flavours were, initially, green apple, then stoniness and something woody or stalky. I caught a hint of oxidation or sherrying, so I certainly wouldn't want to keep this one. But then, it's a fifteen pointer right now, so I'll just go and polish off the last of it. Chin chin...