Heading into the weekend, it seemed like it’d be better to lead with dessert. So let’s talk about Tuscany’s sweet wine, Vin Santo.
Like many dessert wines, Vin Santo (“Holy Wine”) is expensive. Grapes (typically white) are picked during harvest and then left to dry for three to six months. After which, they are combined with some of leftover ‘mother’ from the previous batches (like a sourdough) and left to ferment for 3-5 years in the barrel in a warm place. The result is a fabulous wine that can have delicate, toasted honey flavors and a creamy texture.
Be warned, though, just because this is a dessert wine, doesn’t mean it’s cloyingly sweet. Makers fully control their sweetness and decide how the wine will turn out, from cloying to bone dry.
Villa Trasqua Trasanto 2005
Life is short, so why not have dessert first? Made from Sangiovese afflicted with Botrytis, how does Villa Trasqua Trasanto taste?
Sight: A deep amber caramel color.
Smell: The nose is deeply complicated, with huge notes of honey, tea, cumin, and Calabrian dried chilis. A buckwheat honey note pervades into a fresh baked pastry aroma. Pops of lemon and subdued strawberry concentrate attempt weakly to break through as a more complicated nuttiness overwhelms anything fresh. A hint of vanilla laced smoke rounds things out.
Sip: The body is thick, and round, but less sweet than one might expect. Firm flavors of buckwheat honey, black tea, and complex dark chocolate come together with smoke and spice for an intrigue and aggressive mix of flavors. Hints of strawberry syrup, chili, and hazelnuts pile on. The texture is like silk.
Savor: The ending is as complicated, lacing its way through a pantheon of complex dried tea and chocolate flavors. Vague aspiration of red fruit and wildflower honey build upon this. The nuttiness builds across the space.
Villa Trasqua Transanto has so much going on it has a hard time figuring out what it wants to be. That said, everything going on is incredible. The flavors ranging from nuts to honey to tea to chocolate all make an amazing impression. If you like complexity in your wine than Villa Trasqua Trasanto offers it in spades for dessert wines. One final note, the residual sugar here is a whopping 88.6 g/L!
Verdict: Nutty, Honey, Chocolate, Tea