Looking for a good dessert wine for less than $15? This one worked quite nicely at a recent Christmas party.
Coteaux du Layon wines from the Loire Valley are always fairly inexpensive and I have several in my cellar from the late 1960s and early 1970s that are still drinking beautifully. Because of the warm summer of 2003 in France, this wine is lower in acidity than most vintages and particularly good for drinking right now. From the first sniff, the wine is plump and luscious with scents of peaches, ripe pears, citrus peel, honey and a smokey, tobacco undertone that probably comes from botrytis (15% in this wine). It's very ripe but with no alcoholic heat (only 13%). Clings to the tongue while the flavors climb out to tease every surface. Delicious wine. The sweetness at the end is balanced by some citrus peel acidity. At $13/bottle, I wish I had bought more.