Tasting Report: Aromatic and Dessert Wines from Quady, 2012 Releases

Tasting Report: Aromatic and Dessert Wines from Quady, 2012 Releases

With the holidays nigh upon us, celebrations will be in full force. Don’t forget the sticky stuff for dessert. Quady, which has been making its wines in Madera, California since 1975, offers a huge slate of dessert, fortified, and aromatic wines. We tasted a panel of six of its most popular offerings. Thoughts follow. (All prices are for 750ml bottles, except Deviation.)

Quady Vya Vermouth Aperitif Sweet – Made from Orange Muscat, Colombard, and Valdepenas grapes, and spiced with cinnamon, gentian, galangal, and nutmeg. Tawny, moderately brown color. Deeply herbal, like mulled wine for Christmas. Pleasant, with notes of brewed tea to counter the Christmas spices. 16% abv. B+ / $20

Quady Vya Vermouth Aperitif Extra Dry – Colombard and Orange Muscat flavored with lavender, sage, orris, and linden. A punchy version of dry vermouth heavy with perfumy floral notes. Not a great sipper, but makes a mean martini. 17% abv. B / $20

Quady Vya Vermouth Aperitif Whisper Dry – “A hint of garden herbs” in unspecified white wine. The name is an apt description, lightly herbal overtones over a very modest, unassuming white wine. Touches of orange peel on an aromatic core — this one’s an easier sipper and, arguably, a friendlier vermouth. 17% abv. B+ / $20

2010 Quady Essencia – A sweet dessert wine made from Orange Muscat. Surprisingly floral on the nose. Plenty of orange juice and peel on the body. Almost like a marmalade. Not enough depth, though. Just ample, sweet juiciness backed with a tart edge. What’s missing is an earthier, honeyed middle that would give this wine some added backbone. 15% abv. B+ / $21

2010 Quady Elysium – The counterpart to Essencia, made from Black Muscat. Looks like Port, but designed to be served chilled. Lovely blueberry and blackberry on the front of the wine, with ample floral tones. Not at all cloying, it’s sweet but not saccharine, and would pair beautifully with chocolate or a cheese plate. The nose isn’t quite right — it offers aromas of a simple red wine, perhaps Beaujolais Nouveau, not preparing you for the joys it hides within. 15% abv. A- / $21

Quady Deviation – Non-vintage dessert wine infused with Rose Geranium and Damiana. Damiana liqueur is a personal go-to for homegrown cocktails, and is a reported aphrodisiac. A pretty wine, with plenty of sweetness to counterbalance the more perfumy notes, which are especially present on the nose. I like this more than I expected I would — anything with “rose” anywhere on the label always tends to turn me off — but Deviation (an apt name) is a worthwhile, if entirely fanciful, experience. I guess a rose by another name does taste as sweet… 15% abv. B+ / $25 (375ml)


2010 Quady Elysium




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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