Leon Stolarski Fine Wines
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Sparkling and Sweet wines
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Online Wine Shop  >  Sparkling and Sweet wines

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Sparkling, Dessert, Fortified wines
Sparkling, Dessert and Fortified Wines
At not much more than half the price of decent, entry-level Champagne, the sparkling wines of Limoux represent excellent value for money and are perfect for any occasion, with or without food. We also list a wide range of sweet wines from South-West France, Roussillon, Languedoc and the Loire Valley. And these wines are not just for desserts - many of them pair remarkably well with savoury foods such as cheeses, patés, terrines and foie gras. And, of course, Banyuls and Maury are amongst the (very) few wine styles that can stand up to being matched with chocolate - and Christmas cakes and puddings. Enjoy!

Chateau Rives-Blanques 2010 Blanquette de Limoux
Chateau Rives-Blanques Blanquette 2010
Vintage
2010

Region From the hills surrounding Limoux
Colour/Style Sparkling white, brut
Grapes 90% Mauzac, plus Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc
Alcohol (a.b.v)
12.5%
Food As an aperitif, or with all kinds of food
Next day
Drink on the same night
Drink Over the next 3 to 5 years
A fruity, grapey nose, with hints of sweet apples and oranges. The palate is clean and super-fresh, with a fine, persistent mousse, very slightly off-dry, with bags of fruit. 15 months ageing on its lees makes for a toasty, quite opulent style, with rich, spiced apple fruit and real mineral depth. A really cracking sparkler, and a match for many a Champagne.
 

Price:  £13.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Chateau Rives-Blanques Vintage Rose 2009 Crémant de Limoux
Chateau Rives-Blanques Vintage Rose 2009 table
Vintage
2009

Region From the hills surrounding Limoux
Colour/Style Sparkling rosé, brut
Grapes Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir
Alcohol (a.b.v)
12.5%
Food As an aperitif, or with all kinds of food
Next day
Best drunk on the same night, though will keep overnight
Drink Over the next 3 to 5 years
A very pale rose/salmon colour, with a fine, lively mousse. The nose offers a riot of red cherry, raspberry and strawberry aromas, whilst the palate is dense, ripe and opulent, with tangy red forest fruit flavours, the merest hint of residual sugar, bracing acidity and a long, mellow finish. Whilst already quite soft and approachable, it also has the potential to age gracefully for a few years yet. A really classy sparkling rosé and a match for many Champagnes at 2 or 3 times the price.
 

Price:  £14.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2011 Jurançon
Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2011
Vintage
2011
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Sweet white, aged in oak barrels for 11 months
Grapes 100% Petit Manseng
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Blue cheese, foie gras, smoked salmon, tarte tatin, lemon layer or Sussex pond pudding, or simply as an aperitif
Next day
Indestructible - lasts for weeks in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 10-plus years

The grapes for this wine are harvested deep into November, by which time they have begun to dry on the vine, concentrating the flavours, whilst retaining all of the bracing acidity which is the hallmark of Petit Manseng. The colour is a very enticing shiny, rich yellow-gold. The nose has everything, from tangy lemon and lime oil, baked apples and apricots, through to figs, toffee, ginger and exotic spices and herbs. And it almost goes without saying that you can smell the minerality. The palate hits you with a mouthful of sweet, rich apricot and peach flavours, with a viscous but never gloopy texture, and all manner of fresh and preserved citrus and tree fruit flavours. And then, milliseconds later, you get that incredible wave of nervy acidity and steely minerality, followed by a warm, spice and ginger hit at the end. Not that anything sticks out, as it all comes together beautifully, in a wine that keeps you coming back for more. And with every sip, it reveals yet more layers of complexity and wonderfulness! This is the 7th vintage of this wine that I have had the pleasure of writing-up, and not one has ever failed to bowl me over. And this one is no different - it really is a quite stunning wine, and one which I could never tire of drinking.

 

Price:  £16.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Vendanges Tardives 2010 Jurançon
Domaine de Montesquiou Vendanges Tardives 2010
Vintage
2010
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Sweet white, aged in oak barrels for 18 months
Grapes 100% Petit Manseng
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Blue cheese, foie gras, smoked salmon, tarte tatin, lemon layer or Sussex pond pudding, or simply as an aperitif
Next day
Indestructible - lasts for weeks in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 10-plus years

This is made from the estate's oldest Petit Manseng vines, with grapes harvested during a succession of "tries" (passes) through the vineyard, during late November and early December. Read my note on Grappe d'or (above) and then add on another month or so of hang time on the vines and a few more superlatives, and this is what you get. Several more notches up the ripeness scale, this really is a super-concentrated version. Pure 24 carat gold in colour, with a nose that possesses everything that Grappe d'Or has, along with candied fruits of all descriptions and colours and notes of toasted almonds, diesel and woodsmoke, basil and oregano. A hint of honey even suggests a touch of botrytis (on both the nose and palate) whilst the acidity is definitely more tangerine and seville orange than the lemon/lime of its sibling, still wonderfully bracing and tangy, but richer and fuller, and with all sorts of apple crumble, honeycomb, raisin and mixed spice things going on. At £28 for a full 75cl bottle, this really does provide amazing value for money. Plus of course it will keep for weeks, or even months in the fridge, once opened - if you can resist, that is! A quite extraordinarily lovely wine.

 

Price:  £27.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine d'Archimbaud Vendanges d'Automne 2007 Vin de Table de France (50cl)
Domaine d'Archimbaud Vendanges d'Automne 2007 table
Vintage
2007

Region Saint-Saturnin de Lucian, Terrasses du Larzac 
Colour/Style Sweet white dessert - full bodied. Late harvested.
Grapes 100% Bourboulenc
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Sweet puddings, fruit, soft cheese, foie gras
Next day
How about next month?! Lasts for weeks in the fridge
Drink Great now, but will improve and evolve for 5 to 10 years
The label says "Mout de raisins partiellement fermenté - Issue de raisins passerillés". Which basically means a wine from grapes harvested very late in the season (and therefore partially raisined on the vine). There is no AOC for such wines in Languedoc, hence the simple Vin de Table denomination. No vintage is allowed on the label, but this is from the 2007 vintage. It is fashioned from 100% Bourboulenc, a grape also occasionally known as Malvoisie. This wine is a rich, shiny 24-carat gold colour with orange tinges. The nose is sublime, offering captivating aromas of bonfire toffee, candied orange peel, marzipan, fig, honeysuckle and rose, whilst the palate is simply bursting with flavours of autumn fruits, preserved citrus, root ginger and toffee. It caresses the tongue with intensely concentrated fruit, before unleashing a rasp of limey acidity that makes the tongue tingle. The finish is immense, lasting for literally minutes, whilst revealing hitherto unnoticed flavours of toffee apple, lemon sorbet, clove and cinnamon, not to mention just about every exotic fruit nuance you could care to mention. Although this wine is really lovely when first opened, it gets better and better after literally a week or two, as the underlying acidity begins to eat away at, and integrate with, the inherent sweetness. So don't judge it on first impression - take as long as you possibly can to finish the bottle - if you can resist - and you will be richly rewarded. A lovely, lovely wine.
 

Price:  £14.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Les Vignes de l'Arque Saveur d'Automne 2009 IGP Pays d'Oc
Les Vignes de l'Arque Saveur d'Automne 2009
Vintage
2009

Region Near to Uzès, in the Gard
Colour/Style Sweet white dessert - full bodied. Late harvest, oak aged
Grapes 100% Viognier
Alcohol (a.b.v)
16.0%
Food Sweet puddings, fruit, soft cheese, foie gras
Next day
How about next week? Lasts for ages in the fridge
Drink Great now, but will probably age and evolve for 5 years
Clear, pale straw colour, with orange glints. A delightfully intense nose, with complex aromas including apricot, orange, fresh grapes, honey and root ginger, with the perfume heightened even more by a strong floral/rose element, akin to turkish delight. Ageing in oak barrels for 9 months has also imbued it with a subtle note of oak vanillin. The flavours are moelleux, rather than full-on sweet, with the inherent richness countered by really good acidity and a touch of grape tannin. There is a core of rich, ripe, densely concentrated fruit and a touch of spicy, alcoholic warmth, whilst the finish offers a final flourish of tropical fruit and candied citrus. The oak is beautifully judged and integrates seamlessly with the fruit, making for a wine of considerable complexity. In fact, a little goes a long way, but fortunately this wine is perfectly capable of sitting in the fridge for a good many days after opening, during which it just gets better and better. Yet another on our growing list of lovely Languedoc stickies!
 

Price:  £16.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Treloar MO2 N/V Vin de France (50cl)
Treloar MO2 2009
Vintage
Strictly speaking, non-vintage, but made from grapes from the 2009 harvest

Region Trouillas, south-west of Perpignan
Colour/Style White, almost dry, lightly fortified
Grapes 100% Muscat à Petit Grains
Alcohol (a.b.v)
15.0%
Food Aperitif, foie gras, patés, cheeses
Next day
Stays fresh for many days after opening
Drink Anytime over the next 5 to 50 years!
Described by winemaker Jon Hesford as "fermented in the presence of oxygen until dry, fortified with grape spirit and aged in a 2 year-old oak barrel with headspace, out in the sun". Basically, it was a batch of Muscat that "went wrong" (i.e. oxidised - hence the name) due to a technical fault with a grape press. Instead of sending the resulting juice to be distilled, Jon decided to experiment. The result is a wine that to all intents and purposes looks and smells like a slightly nutty (in both senses of the word) Muscat de Rivesaltes, a deep-ish orange/gold colour with orange marmalade and solera/flor-like notes, classic Muscat grapiness, a touch of honey, perhaps even a hint of digestive biscuit and a subtle herbiness. And whilst your nose prepares you for a sweet wine, the palate is very definitely almost dry, with only the fortifying grape spirit contributing a perception of "off-dryness". Conversely, the texture is quite rich and unctious, coating the mouth with delicious grapey, marmaladey, buttery/biscuity and nutty flavours, yet remaining steadfastly refreshing and distinctly tangy. This really is a wine for contemplation ,and the length, by the way, is immense - unlike Parker, I'm not one to put the stopwatch on, but we're talking minutes, rather than seconds. I could try and categorise it, but that would be unfair to a wine that is - albeit by accident, rather than design - pretty unique. In short, it is completely and utterly lovely.
 

Price:  £16.25 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Treloar Muscat de Rivesaltes 2011 (50cl)
Domaine Treloar Muscat de Rivesaltes 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Trouillas, south-west of Perpignan
Colour/Style White, vin doux naturel
Grapes 100% Muscat à Petit Grains
Alcohol (a.b.v)
16.0%
Food Aperitif, fruit, desserts, paté, soft cheeses
Next day
Improves and retains its freshness for weeks
Drink Anytime over the next 5 years
New vintage - tasting note to follow.
 

Price:  £10.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Piétri-Géraud Banyuls Blanc 2010
Vintage
2010

Region Banyuls - by the Mediterranean, near the Spanish border
Colour/Style Full-bodied fortified white, aged 1 year in new oak barrels
Grapes 100% Grenache Blanc
Alcohol (a.b.v)
16.0%
Food Cheeses, patés, fresh fruit, creme brulée, fruit puddings
Next day
Lasts for weeks after opening
Drink Excellent now, or will age for up to years(!)
A luscious yet delicate sweet wine, with 118 g/l of residual sugar and very lightly fortified, this has a medium gold colour - no deeper than a rich dry white. The nose offers notes of honey, apricot, orange blossom, lime oil and toasted almonds, with subtle hints of nettles, celery and garrigue herbs. Even after ageing for a year in new oak barrels, there is only the merest hint of an oak aroma. The entry is rich and honeyed, wit a gently oily texture ,with orange and apricot flavours and a delightfully spicy edge, redolent of fresh root ginger, cinnamon and clove. And then, all of a sudden, a burst of vibrant acidity appears as if from nowhere, and carries the wine all the way to a long, tangy finish. This is a really elegant wine, and not at all heavy - in fact, it is deceptively light and refreshing, as well as gorgeously sweet!
 

Price:  £18.79 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Piétri-Géraud Cuvée Méditerranée 2008 Banyuls
Domaine Pietri-Geraud Banyuls 2008
Vintage
2008

Region Banyuls - by the Mediterranean, near the Spanish border
Colour/Style Full-bodied fortified red, aged in oak barrels
Grapes 90% Grenache, 10% Carignan - 40 to 100 years old
Alcohol (a.b.v)
16.0%
Food Strong cheeses, patés, rich fruit cakes and puddings (including chocolate), dried fruits - versatile!
Next day
Lasts for weeks, once opened
Drink Excellent now, or will age for 20+ years
Aged for 4 years in an oxidative environment, in old oak barrels left outside exposed to the elements, this an absolute stunner. An earthy yet ethereal perfume of bonfire toffee and molasses, spiced orange peel, cherry, redcurrant, fig, mocha, incense, polished old mahogany..... I could go on, but I think you get the picture. My goodness, this is wonderfully intoxicating and more-ish! Rich, sweet, laden with preserved fruit intensity and soused Christmas cake flavours, rounded and completely hedonistic, yet so balanced and fleet of foot, with melting tannins and tangy, almost zesty acidity. There's a warming touch of eau de vie on the finish, but you almost don't notice it, because it gets buried beneath those wonderful fruit flavours, which go on and on for an age - and at just 16% abv, this is a fortified wine which majors on fruit, not alcohol. This really is a fantastic wine (and for those who know this grower's wines, even better than the 2003 and 2005). Christmas in a glass. I think I am in love!
 

Price:  £19.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Mas de Lavail Expression 2011 Maury
Mas de Lavail Expression 2011 Maury
Vintage
2011
Region Maury, west of Perpignan
Colour/Style Red, vin doux naturel
Grapes 100% old vine Grenache
Alcohol (a.b.v)
16.5%
Food So versatile - duck with cherries, foie gras, rich fruit cake, cheese, raspberry sorbet - or simply on its own
Next day
How about weeks? Develops for ages!
Drink Excellent now, or age for 10 to 20 years
100% old vine Grenache, harvested at the peak of maturity, with yields of just 25hl/ha. The grapes are given a long maceration, followed by "mutage sur grains" (the addition of a small amount of grape brandy to the must) which stops the fermentation, thus retaining both an immense core of fruit and a certain amount of residual grape sugar. An opaque black cherry colour, with a tiny raspberry pink rim. As for the nose, well how many adjectives do you need? A more expressive, dense, fruity, spicy, sexy nose is virtually impossible to imagine. It simply reeks of dark cherries, damsons, framboise liqueur, dried orange peel, dark chocolate and exotic spices, all rubbed into a favourite old leather-soled shoe! Breathe even deeper and you get molasses, honey and truffle, not to mention a whole jar full of garrigue herbs. There is the vaguest whiff of savoury/meat in there too, but (for now at least) it really is about the fruit. There is plenty of tannin to give the palate a firm structure, but the almost painfully delicious sweet/sour fruit flavours bully it into submission, augmented by notes of toffee and fig, whilst a rasp of juicy acidity keeps it all vibrant and fresh. I have tasted dry red wines (especially from a certain appellation in the southern Rhône) which come across as more alcoholic than this, but with only a fraction of the fruit. Furthermore, it shows a genuine spicy "warmth", rather than alcoholic heat - and at just 16.5% abv, it is a full 3 or 4 degrees lighter than your average Port. And for this reason, it is a wine that you could conceivably pair with savoury dishes (notably duck or goose with a sweet/sour red fruit sauce) as well as foie gras and patés, cheeses, fruit cakes and other fruity desserts. Failing that, you could just enjoy a glass or two for its own sake. Vintage Maury is one of the world's best and most underrated sweet red wine styles - and this is another truly exceptional example from Mas de Lavail. An absolutely stunning wine - and a true bargain.
 

Price:  £14.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Six of the Best Sweet Wines - Save over £10
Six of the Best Sweet Wines
We have a small but perfectly-formed list of sweet wines of which we are very proud. There isn't a wine amongst them that won't give immense pleasure, whether it be with food or simply on its own. We have put together an offer of six of our very best sweet wines (4 white and 2 red). The wines in this selection normally retail separately for £101.93.  This 6-bottle case is offered at the special price of £91.90 (a saving of over £10) and comprises the following wines;

1 x Les Vignes de l'Arque Saveur d'Automne 2009 IGP Pays d'Oc
1 x Domaine d'Archimbaud Vendange d'Automne 2007 Vin de Table de France (50cl)
1 x Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe dOr 2011 Jurançon
1 x Domaine Piétri-Géraud 2010 Banyuls Blanc
1 x Domaine Mas de Lavail Expression 2011 Maury
1 x Domaine Piétri-Geraud Cuvée Méditerranée 2008 Banyuls

 

Price:  £91.90 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Mailing list
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Minimum order value, delivery charges, times and restrictions
We deliver only to UK and Northern Ireland addresses. The minimum order value is £75 (plus the delivery charge). You may of course choose a mix of any wines in our range. Orders between £75 and £200: delivery charge is £7.50. Orders over £200: delivery is free! (If your order is over £200, please remember to change the delivery charge in checkout to £0.00). Please note: Delivery to non-mainland addresses (Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, etc.) is usually possible, but may not be on a next-working-day basis. It is also more expensive than delivery to mainland addresses, so will be charged at cost (for orders under £200) but with a small discount for orders over £200 - please call us for a quote.

Warning - you must be aged 18 or over
It is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 18. (Section 149 Licensing Act 2003).We reserve the right to seek proof of age. Leon Stolarski says "drink less, but drink better!" Please consume alcohol in moderation.