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Dessert Wines

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Anselmi I Capitelli Igt half bottle 2015 (1x 35.5cl)

Since taking over management of his family’s winery in the Soave district of northeast Italy’s Veneto region two decades ago, Roberto Anselmi has been motivated by an emotional and professional commitment to tapping the unrealized potential of the wines he grew up with. This has entailed a significant parting of ways with traditional vineyard and winemaking practices that have historically characterized the Soave district, and given birth to a new generation of north Italian white wines of unprecedented quality, character and finesse.

In the heart of the classic Soave production area, near the towns of Monteforte and Soave in the Foscarino and Zoppega hills, Roberto Anselmi selects the grapes from the vineyards that are identifiable by the adjacent 'capitelli' (chapels) which from experience are the best geographic positions to produce grapes. The terrain is hilly, with southern exposure, and the soils are volcanic in some plots of land, calcareous in others. The vines are very closely pruned, with few fruit bearing buds, and the bunches of grapes are thinned in June.

Ripe bunches are selected and put in a single layer in small cases (plateaux). A second selection of bunches of grapes suitable for drying on mats in a ventilated room is also made. During November bunches show evidence of 'nobile botrytis'. In February, pressing takes place in pneumatic presses and the very sweet must ferments naturally in small oak barriques. At the end of fermentation, after two decantings, the fermented juices continue to age in the same barriques for about 16 months, and from one to three years in bottle before it is ready to drink.

Stunningly rich and complex, packed with apricot, honey and pear flavours with tobacco and cedar notes, it is smooth, subtle and velvety. Heavenly with Creme brulée, cheese cakes, richly flavoured ice creams and sticky toffee puddings.

£20.10

Barbi Vin Santo Doc half bottle 2011 (1x37.5cl)

A symbol of traditional Tuscan hospitality, this wine is nevertheless quite rare, often a real treat. Barbi's Vinsanto maintains the old habit of greeting and honoring guests and friends with something special.

The grapes are collected in mid September and then set to dry on special reed mats locally called “graticci”. Between late December and early January the juice in the grapes is reduced to a very sugary syrup that reaches 18– 19° bé (parameter that indicates the proportion between sugar and water level). At this stage the grapes are softly pressed, then the concentrated must is sealed together with the madrea” (literally “mother”: natural yeasts produced through decades and always kept alive) in small oaks casks (1 or 2 hl) called “Caratelli” for at leats three years. The Caratello is a small wooden container that has always been used in Vinsanto production Afterwards the wine is separated from the “madre” and aged again in smaller oak kegs (0.65 hl), before being bottled.

This wine has an amber yellow colour. On the nose it has a delicious and intensively aromatic bouquet with a broad suite of fragrances: raisins, dried and candied fruits, walnuts and a delicate hint of chestnut honey . It shows a finely bilance palate whose sweetness never cloys thanks to fresh acidity and vibrant, long-lasting aromas.

A wine to be sipped and enjoyed slowly, it perfectly matches with “Cantucci” (dry Tuscan almond biscuits), savoury and mature cheeses, liver based cold cuts and pâtè or on its own as a wine to meditate over.

Vin Santo dei Barbi can be kept for decades. In the cellar at Barbi there is a collection of bottles dating back to 1870, although you may not want to wait this long to enjoy it!

£19.20

Barroubio Muscat De Saint Jean De Minervois 2016 (1 x 75cl)

Domaine de Barroubio is located on a high plateau in the department of Hérault in the commune of Saint Jean de Minervois, a viticultural area famed for the Muscat grape. The vineyards, which lie at an altitude of 250m above sea level, face south for maximum sun exposure. Owner and winemaker Raymond Miquel has built a reputation for the fine quality of his Muscats.

The owner of the estate, Raymond Miquel, is instrumental in the winemaking process. He subjects the grapes to organoleptic analysis when they are on the vine to ensure the optimum balance of sugars, acidity and phenolic maturity. The fruit is then hand-harvested and sorted. Fermentation is carried out at low temperature (11°C) until ideal residual sweetness is achieved (135g/l), at which point the fermentation is arrested by fortifying with grape spirit.

This fortified sweet wine - vin doux naturel - is shimmering golden in the glass with an intense, complex nose of grapes, pear, rose petals and citrus. On the palate it is sweet, rich, powerful with a balancing zesty acidity on the long finish.

This intensely aromatic sweet wine should be served very cold and will pair well with strongly flavoured foods from paté to chocolate cake.

£17.95

Bertani Recioto Valpolicella Doc 2014 (1x 50cl)

Bertani produces Recioto with two grapes grown in the hills of the Valpantena, the same varieties used to make Amarone. They use the smallest bunches with the best exposure to the sun, then dried on the traditional “arele”, bamboo racks, for about three months. The typical notes of cherry are brought out by the unusual ageing in cherry wood barrels and eventually become a concentration of morello and sour cherry. Recioto is dense and velvety but never cloying; it leaves the palate clean with an aftertaste of walnuts that makes it unique among sweet wines: sweet, intense red with elegant oak tannins.

From vineyards in the Valpantena sub-zone to the North of the city of Verona, in the communes of Quinto, Grezzana, and Santa Maria in Stelle. The soils range from calcareous marls in the east to iron-rich calcareous clays in the west. The harvest takes place at the end of September. As only pristine bunches are selected, the harvest is strictly by hand only.

The grapes are taken to the drying rooms where they rest in single-layer crates for about 150 days. Fermentation initially takes place at a very low temperature (4°-5°C) and then reaches 18°C, then it is stopped before all the sugars are transformed into alcohol. Ageing happens in 30-hl cherry wood casks, for about 12 months, followed by a period of at least three months of bottle maturation.

The wine has an intense ruby-red colour, with a multitude of aromas on the nose: from the typical notes of plum, cherry and raspberry to hints of vanilla spice, hay and cocoa. On the palate is full, fragrant and intense. The sugars are not high, leaving a long aftertaste of fruits of the forest, chocolate and liquorice. It goes well with cakes and jam tarts, it is intriguing when paired with young and medium-matured cheeses as well as candied fruit. It also goes tremendously well with chocolate.

£20.90

Bertani Recioto Valpolicella Doc 2015 (1x50cl)

Bertani produces Recioto with two grapes grown in the hills of the Valpantena, the same varieties used to make Amarone. They use the smallest bunches with the best exposure to the sun, then dried on the traditional “arele”, bamboo racks, for about three months. The typical notes of cherry are brought out by the unusual ageing in cherry wood barrels and eventually become a concentration of morello and sour cherry. Recioto is dense and velvety but never cloying; it leaves the palate clean with an aftertaste of walnuts that makes it unique among sweet wines: sweet, intense red with elegant oak tannins.

From vineyards in the Valpantena sub-zone to the North of the city of Verona, in the communes of Quinto, Grezzana, and Santa Maria in Stelle. The soils range from calcareous marls in the east to iron-rich calcareous clays in the west. The harvest takes place at the end of September. As only pristine bunches are selected, the harvest is strictly by hand only.

The grapes are taken to the drying rooms where they rest in single-layer crates for about 150 days. Fermentation initially takes place at a very low temperature (4°-5°C) and then reaches 18°C, then it is stopped before all the sugars are transformed into alcohol. Ageing happens in 30-hl cherry wood casks, for about 12 months, followed by a period of at least three months of bottle maturation.

The wine has an intense ruby-red colour, with a multitude of aromas on the nose: from the typical notes of plum, cherry and raspberry to hints of vanilla spice, hay and cocoa. On the palate is full, fragrant and intense. The sugars are not high, leaving a long aftertaste of fruits of the forest, chocolate and liquorice. It goes well with cakes and jam tarts, it is intriguing when paired with young and medium-matured cheeses as well as candied fruit. It also goes tremendously well with chocolate.

£22.75

Berton Reserve Botrytis Semillon 2015 (1x37.5cl)

The Griffith area is internationally renowned for producing some of the best Botrytis affected wines, with its luscious, honeyed flavours of peach and apricot, which are well balanced by natural acidity.

£11.20

Bianchi Late Harvest Semillon 2013 (1x37.5cl)

The Bianchi family winery was founded in 1928 by Italian immigrant Valentin Bianchi. It now covers 350 hectares of vineyard, situated 750m above sea level in San Rafael, about 240km south of Mendoza city. This is a cooler area than Mendoza's major vineyard areas of Luján de Cuyo and Agrelo because it is further south, which helps the flavours and perfumes develop more gradually, resulting in more aromatic wines. The estate is now run by the third generation of the family and has undergone a gradual transformation in the past few years, modernising both the winery and the vinification processes. Finca Los Primos comprises a range of excellent value varietals. Famiglia Bianchi, Particular and Enzo are each a step up in concentration and depth of fruit, from older and lower yielding vineyards.

The grapes for this wine are grown on the Doña Elsa Estate, situated in Rama Caída, San Rafael, Mendoza at 750 metres above sea level. Rama Caí­da is among the coolest areas of San Rafael, with sandy calcareous soils of alluvial origin. Harvest took place by hand.

The growing season began warm, then turned and remained cool, producing fresh wines for the 2013 vintage. Much needed spring rains and an absence of a major frost led to a good fruit set as Argentine winemakers reported normal to 25% higher yields. A cold spell hit Mendoza during the middle of March, delaying maturation and picking. The heat returned for harvest from early March to mid-April and as a result, the grapes had high acidity levels and low alcohol.

Bianchi follow the traditional French methods for making Sauternes and other similar dessert wines. After naturally occurring botrytis formed on around 40% of the grapes, the best were selected and picked by hand at the end of May, well after the regular grape harvest. Fermentation was in French oak barrels and continued until the cold winter temperatures stopped the process. In the spring, the fermentation started again, until it finally finished naturally due to the combination of alcohol and naturally high sugar concentration. The wine remained in barrels for 12 months until a blend of the best of the barrels was made just prior to bottling.

A rich golden colour with inviting perfumes of honey, citrus rind and stone fruits. Full-bodied, with appealing juicy stone fruits alongside gentle vanilla complexity and lively citrus acidity. Perfectly balanced with a lingering finish.

£8.85

Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci Vin Santo Doc 2010 (1x50cl)

The Da Vinci label is the premium range of wines from Cantine Leonardo whose 150 members have vineyards located on the hilly areas around Vinci, Cerreto Guidi and the surrounding communes close to Empoli, half way between Florence and Pisa in the Arno valley. The low altitude of the vineyards and the Pliocenic origin of the soil that is rich in fossils enhance the robust character of the wine, while the proximity of the sea ensures good perfume and balance.

Only Trebbiano is used to make this wine. The grapes were hand picked into small trays abefore the bunches of grapes were dried on straw mats in well-ventilated drying rooms, until the February following the vintage. The dried grapes were pressed and vinified in the traditional manner. The resulting must was racked into small oak barrels (caratelli), where it remained for four years, fermenting slowly, because of the high sugar levels. The caratelli are kept in the Vin Santo loft which is subject to extremes of temperature during winter and summer.

Amber in colour, with a darker core, this wine is perfumed and intense, with aromas of almonds and dried figs. The palate is rich and luscious with a velvety, almond finish.

£21.70

Capezzana Vin Santo Di Carmignano half bottle 2010 (1x37.5cl)

The Capezzana estate, 24 kilometres north west of Florence, is owned by the Contini Bonacossi family. The younger generation is now firmly in charge of the estate's 100 hectares of vineyard, with daughter Benedetta Contini Bonacossi as winemaker. The wines and the olive oil have an elegance which marks this estate out from the crowd.

The grapes for the Vin Santo are grown on various vineyards on the 104 hectare estate. These vineyards face east, are around 150-200 metres above sea level and have schistous-clay soils. They are currently being converted to organic production.

The 2009 growing season was excellent. A mild spring was followed by a hot and sunny summer, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. 

The grapes were dried on cane mats in a well ventilated loft until January 2010. The must was then fermented slowly in small oak and chestnut casks for at least four years. After ageing for five years in small chestnut and cherry casks, the wine remained in bottle for at least three months before release.

Intense golden yellow in colour with concentrated perfumes on the nose; notes of candied fruit, sweet almonds and fruit cake. Rich and intensely sweet on the palate, it has dried apricot and fig flavours which are balanced by a lovely touch of freshness. Very long and spicy on the finish.

£31.50

Castelnau de Suduiraut, Sauternes, 2008 (1x37.5cl)

Castelnau is a wine with a distinctive character for which the groundwork is prepared far in advance, even down to the choice of specific plots to give it its own unique identity. Made from portions of the harvest that are expressive earlier than those used for Château Suduiraut, this wine with aromas of candied yellow fruit, quince, frangipani, mild spices and a hint of minerality is more approachable when young in terms of tasting than its elder. Representative of the Sauternes winemaking tradition, its quality, elegance and sophistication make it a reliable choice for anyone who wants to treat themselves to a great wine, with confidence.

The wine undergoes all the traditional processes - pressing, removal of the lees from the must and clarification of the grape juice. Fermentation occurs in new French oak barrels with temperature control (24ºC) for 3 weeks. The wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 16 months, with 10% new oak, 20% 1 year old oak and 70% of 2 year old oak. Racking every 3 months. It is lightly filtered before bottling. 

This elegantly rich wine shows orange peel and mineral notes on the nose. The palate is full bodied with almonds, spice, honey and candied fruits through to a lovely, lingering finish

£15.70

Chambers Rosewood Rutherglen Muscat NV (1x 37.5cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition's "Weekday Wines (25 under £25)" (see blue link below)...

Chambers Rosewood Rutherglen Muscat NV - August 2018 Decanter review

The 6th generation of the Chambers family to make wine in the Rosewood winery, Stephen, took over the winemaking in 2001. This venerable winery, started in 1858 by William Chambers, is one of the most fabled in Rutherglen. This charming, northeastern Victorian town, the sort of place that time forgot, still speaks of the gold rush that led to the town's foundation, and the development of the wine industry, in the 1850s. 

The vineyards are located on the fringes of the Rutherglen Township, slightly to the North West, where Chambers produce drier style Muscats which express rose petal characters. The vines are hand pruned to a rod and spur system which allows each vine to be viewed on an individual basis. The trellising system is a single wire with a sprawling canopy.

Harvest of the grapes for this wine commences once the fruit reaches a ripeness of 16 Baumé. At this stage the grapes will have some variation throughout the bunches, with some being plump, while others showing signs of grape shrivel. Once a parcel of grape is harvested, it is destemmed and the must placed into a closed stainless steel fermentation tank. The amount of fermentation is dependent upon the final baumé level of the parcel, and it occurs around 24 hours after harvest and a soak on skins. Once fermentation has commenced and the sugar level has fallen to between 14 and 15 baumé the grapes are pressed with the fermenting juice and fortified with neutral grape wine spirit (95.8 to 96.2%). The resultant wine is then settled in stainless steel tanks and then racked into old oak casks, which range in size between 220 to 5500 litres. The wines are kept as single vintage and vineyard parcels until blending.

The Rutherglen Muscat is typically tawny red in colour with aromas of rose petals, raisins and dried fruit. These characters carry through to the palate, balanced with fresh acidity. The wine is unctuous and rich yet zesty and balanced.

£12.10

Chateau Delmond, Sauternes, 2015 (1x 37.5cl)

Jean-Christophe Barbe studied at the University of Bordeaux and did his thesis on 'pourriture noble', or noble rot, the botrytis that makes Sauternes so special. Today, he instructs the youth of Bordeaux in winemaking while running the family property, Château Laville, in Sauternes. Château Delmond is the second wine of Château Laville.

Jean-Christophe Barbe's vineyards are located in the commune of Preignac. He has 13 hectares which all qualify for Sauternes status. The average age of the vines is 30 years. Château Delmond, however, is made from slightly younger vines, resulting in a fresher, lighter style, yet with the complexity and luscious feel of good Sauternes. The soils are mainly gravel and calcareous gravel.

The 2015 vintage saw perfect conditions for the development of noble rot. A generous flowering and warm, dry early spring was followed by a slightly cooler, damper August. The cool nights and rainfall experienced in late Autumn precipitated a very early start to the development of botrytis and brought balance to the grapes.

The grapes were harvested in separate 'passes' through the vineyard and pressed in the pneumatic and vertical hydraulic press. The alcoholic fermentation took place at a temperature of 20-22°C. The wine was aged in tank for 18 months prior to bottling and because the fruit was so clean, it was bottled with a relatively low level of free SO2 (40 mg/litre).

This Sauternes is pale gold in colour with fresh floral and stone fruit aromas on the nose. Apricot, honey and peach mix with citrus peel and creamy flavours on the palate. It is medium to full bodied with refreshing acidity to balance the lingering sweet finish.

£13.40

Chateau Delmond, Sauternes, 2015 (1x 75cl)

Jean-Christophe Barbe studied at the University of Bordeaux and did his thesis on 'pourriture noble', or noble rot, the botrytis that makes Sauternes so special. Today, he instructs the youth of Bordeaux in winemaking while running the family property, Château Laville, in Sauternes. Château Delmond is the second wine of Château Laville.

Jean-Christophe Barbe's vineyards are located in the commune of Preignac. He has 13 hectares which all qualify for Sauternes status. The average age of the vines is 30 years. Château Delmond, however, is made from slightly younger vines, resulting in a fresher, lighter style, yet with the complexity and luscious feel of good Sauternes. The soils are mainly gravel and calcareous gravel.

The 2015 vintage saw perfect conditions for the development of noble rot. A generous flowering and warm, dry early spring was followed by a slightly cooler, damper August. The cool nights and rainfall experienced in late Autumn precipitated a very early start to the development of botrytis and brought balance to the grapes.

The grapes were harvested in separate 'passes' through the vineyard and pressed in the pneumatic and vertical hydraulic press. The alcoholic fermentation took place at a temperature of 20-22°C. The wine was aged in tank for 18 months prior to bottling and because the fruit was so clean, it was bottled with a relatively low level of free SO2 (40 mg/litre).

This Sauternes is pale gold in colour with fresh floral and stone fruit aromas on the nose. Apricot, honey and peach mix with citrus peel and creamy flavours on the palate. It is medium to full bodied with refreshing acidity to balance the lingering sweet finish.

£22.60

Chateau Laville Sauternes 2011 (1x75cl)

The 14 hectare Château Laville in Sauternes is Jean-Christophe Barbe's family property. Jean-Christophe is also a Professor of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux, where his particular area of expertise is 'noble rot' which, as a producer of Sauternes, he has had plenty of opportunity to study at first hand. A frequent recipient of awards, including several golds and most recently a DWWA Trophy, Laville Sauternes is one of our best kept secrets.

Chateau Laville has 14 hectares of vineyard in Sauternes, in the commune of Preignac, on gravel soils underpinned with limestone. The best plots are used to make the Grand Vin of Laville. The vines are approximately 35 years old. As with Delmond, Jean-Christophe passes through the vineyard five times to ensure that only the most botrytis-ravaged, or nobly rotten, grapes are selected.

After a cold, dry winter, spring arrived very early with bud break at the end of March. April was the second hottest on record since 1900, followed by an equally hot and dry May, resulting in early flowering. A heat spike in June caused serious water stress before an unusually cold July with welcome rains. One of the earliest harvests in history, starting on the second half of August, resulted in historically low yields.

The grapes were pressed using pneumatic and vertical hydraulic presses. Fermentation took place at 20-22°C, in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine was subsequently aged in new 400 litre French oak casks for 30 months.

A bright, golden wine that opens with intense aromas of candied fruits, honey and spice. Rich and unctuous on the palate, it retains lovely delicacy and is perfectly balanced. The fresh, long finish has a lively citrus twist to round it off.

£30.40

Darenberg The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (1x 37.5cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

D'Arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

d'Arenberg The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana 2015 - fiche technique

£10.75
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