Some of the world’s most pitch-perfect white dessert wines come from the Coteaux du Layon appellation of the Anjou region, in France’s Loire Valley. These late-harvest wines are made from Chenin Blanc grapes allowed to hang on the vine until late in the fall, concentrating their sugars and often becoming infected with “noble rot,” resulting in lusciously sweet wines.
Domane des Baumard is one of the virtuoso wineries of Anjou, making outstanding wines from several appellations in the region. You can find several of them at South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis, including the surprisingly affordable Coteaux du Layon Carte d’Or from the stellar 2005 vintage. With a honey-like sweetness braced by a chorus of mineral notes, it could create an ideal duet with either a foie-gras starter or a rich blue cheese at the end of a meal.