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Moulin Touchais' 1997 Coteaux de Layon: A Stunning Wine Sweet Wine, Decades in the Making

We don't drink enough sweet wines. They offer pleasures like no other wines. If there's any season that calls for the special indulgence, this is it. And we have an amazing one to share with you today: 1997 Moulin Touchais Coteaux de Layon.

Great dessert wines are more than just delectable treats, perfect for capping a good meal (though they are that). They are also the perfect pairing with most desserts or cheese courses. Dry wines clash with and overwhelm the dessert experience, but sweeter wines have the sugar to complement, the freshness to bring out dimensions of flavors, and the clean and balanced finish to keep you wanting another bite.

Moulin Touchais' 1997 Coteau du Layon does all of that. It's a sweet wine made from Chenin Blanc grown in the Loire Valley, next to the Layon river. The domaine has been making wines in these hills since 1787, and they still use their unique, crazy-intensive way of making incredibly long-lived dessert wines. It starts with a smaller, early harvest, when the grapes are still full of acidity and fresh flavors. The juice from this harvest provides the structure and brightness necessary for the wine to age 50-100 years, as they do. And then, weeks later, they harvest the remaining — fully ripe — grapes, jam-packed with the flavors we crave in dessert wines (ripe apples, apricot confit, wildflower honey).

1997 was a great year in Layon and, in particular, a year with a lot of Botrytis, the "noble rot" that shrivels berries, concentrating flavor, acid and sugar. Thanks to the noble rot, the wine has also picked up the special spice and honeyed mien that adds yet an extra dimension. The family holds their wines back for many years. The 1997 is now in prime drinking space, wildly complex, very intense and long, but also beautifully balanced.

Email now to make sure you get to enjoy some this holiday season. And if you want to take advantage of our special discounted pricing, feel confident you won't need to rush to drink your bottles up. This is a rare bottle that you could lay down for another few decades. Yes, decades! John Gilman, for instance, suggests a drinking window from now through 2075.

Moulin Touchais, Coteaux de Layon, 1997 $82.99
"The 1997 is a nicely botrytized wine, delivering a deep and still quite youthful bouquet of fresh apricot, quince, a lovely base of chalky soil tones, honey, citrus peel and still a touch of adolescent wet wool in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite powerful in personality for Moulin Touchais, with a rock solid core, superb complexity and a very, very long, well balanced and promising finish." (John Gilman, "A view from the cellar")



This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.