lafauriepeyraguey1986.JPG.jpgThe world of dessert wines is a luscious, sweet place filled with golden drops of butterscotch and flows with rivers of honey and orange blossoms. Ok, perhaps we might be going a little overboard, but try telling that to our tastebuds, who visit this magical land with every glass of Sauternes they have.

Sauternes, perhaps the most noble of dessert wines, comes from a less glamorous beginning. In fact, this dessert wine from Bordeaux gets it complex notes and rich, sweet flavors from a cute little fungus called botrytis bunch rot, A.K.A noble rot. This vine fungus, which develops in damp, cool areas attacks the grapes and causes them to shrivel up. While the idea of fungus affected grapes sounds awful, the end result is a concentration of the sugars in the grape, the development of beautiful complex aromas and the creation of butterscotch, honey and almonds - all combined in a handy liquid form.

Gothamist tried a Sauternes this week that epitomized what a great dessert wine can and should be and took our tastebuds to that special place. The Chateau Lafaurie Peyraguey, $40, had pronounced aromas of honey, apricots and a slight petrol note (from the botrytis). The texture was rich and luscious, but balanced with a nice amount of acidity. The concentrated honey and nut flavors of this wine seemed to go on and on and then they went on a little longer.

Nature can do some crazy things. Who would have thought that fungus would have such a fan club in the wine community? If only Gothamist can find a way to turn the fungus on the 6 train to noble rot. Hmmmm, we can dream can’t we.