Wine of the week


1999 Kanu Limited Release Kia-Ora Noble Late Harvest, Stellenbosch ($22/375 milliliters). The overall quality of the South African wines I've been tasting lately has been disappointing, but this dessert wine is a glorious exception. It's a deliciously sweet nectar balanced by piercing acidity, offering exceptional intensity and complexity. Flavors include baked oranges, pear, nuts, raisins, honey and caramel. The product of the little-known Harslevelu grape of Hungary, it resembles a hypothetical cross between a Hungarian Tokay and a dessert wine of the Loire. It's expensive at first glance, but not when you compare it with its peers around the world. It should match well with many desserts, but it was glorious with a simple flan. Distributed in limited quantities by the Country Vintner, 804-784-2886.

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