Summer’s Sweet Fruit in a Glass

Summer is a time for enjoying desserts made from fresh berries,
peaches, and other glorious fruits of the season. It‚€™s also a great
opportunity to linger over dessert wines that echo the same flavors.
(Oh, all righty‚€”any season is great for these wines. They work just as
well in winter when fresh fruit isn‚€™t available and we can savor its
flavor in a glass.)
Whether with a fruit dessert, a savory cheese, or by itself, a
well-chilled dessert wine can be a great ending to any dinner. One I
especially enjoyed recently was Wölffer Estate 2005 Late Harvest Chardonnay,
from the Hamptons on Long Island. It‚€™s a faux ice wine, in that the
grapes were frozen after harvest‚€”rather than picked frozen from the
vine‚€”to concentrate the juice and the sugar. It features peach,
pineapple, and apricot flavors with a long finish. Simply outstanding.
(The 2006, now available on the winery’s Web site, sells for $37 for a 375ml bottle.)
Wölffer Estate has limited distribution in the Washington region,
unfortunately‚€”I picked up the dessert wine while traveling. But
several delicious stickies produced locally are worth seeking out. Look
for Rockbridge Vineyard‚€™s V d‚€™Or,
a consistent winner from Virginia available at Arrowine in Arlington
(4508 Lee Hwy.; 703-525-0990) and Total Wine & More in Alexandria
(6240 Little River Tpk.; 703-941-1133) or the Elk Run Vineyards Vin de Jus Glacé, a Riesling-based stunner from Maryland available at Beltway Fine Wines (11325 Seven Locks Rd.; 410-668-8884) in Potomac.

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