At rest in Monbazillac


The Ozzies like their nicknames. A few years back I met a couple of guys from down under who said they described local journeys as three stubbies or four stubbies and so on. If you were going from, say Tivoli to Carrigtwohill, that would be a three stubby. Stubbies are small bottles of beer, so you could have one in the Island Gate, Waterman’s and the Elm Tree. Therefore a 3 stubbies trip!

Their name for dessert wines is Stickies. They are intensely flavoured and the rich taste lingers and reverberates in the mouth for quite a while.

Stickies are deep gold in colour with strong bouquets and a rich sweet flavour.  Their intensity of flavour means they are often sold in half bottles and drunk to accompany or even replace desserts.

Came across one recently in a local Centra which was then being upgraded  to a Supervalu and for just over sixteen euro I drove off home with 375 millilitres of a 2002 Darlington Point Cookoothama which proudly proclaimed on the front label that it was Botrytis Semillon.

The nickname is well applied here. It sure sticks. Golden yellow in colour, its sweetness besieges the nose. Candied fruit, they say, mainly orange, hints too of honey. And you get all that too on the palate where it lingers and lingers.

But can you get too much of a sweet thing? It varies from person to person but the answer is yes. This is so sweet, it could be a step too far for some and some nearby fell away.

A day later and revision. Ten hours or so in the fridge and the Cookoothama is somehow toned down, both nose and palate. Absolutely gorgeous. What a difference a day makes!

Think I’ll stick with the Europeans for a while. One of the best known (and it is a smashing one – they have an example on the Fenns Quay wine list) is the Hungarian Tokaji but most European wine countries have at least one example.

This summer, I was in the right area to try some of the French examples, staying in the Dordogne area, close to Bergerac which is next door to Bordeaux and the famous Sauternes.
Had something of a three cornered contest here between the Bordeaux contender and two from Bergerac: Monbazillac and Saussignac. Must say that I’ve come out in favour of the vins liquoreux (sound so much better than stickies!)  from Château Monbazillac.

While in the Dordogne area I also, more or less by accident, came to like the medium sweet wines, known in France as Moelleux. It might be a good place to start if you are feeling your way in this type of wine.

One that I did like was Cote de Bergerac Terrasses d’Autan 2009. It has fruity aromas, sweet white fruits such as peach, apricot and mango, on the palate and may be drunk as an aperitif, with a starter such as paté or with dessert. It was light and medium sweet as indicated and, take it from me, not at all sticky!