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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