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Happy Hour: S3x 2006 Late Harvest White Riesling

One of my favorite wines at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition Tasting was the S3x 2006 Late Harvest White Riesling ($39). They say S3x stands for S three times — small, sweet sips — but I think there's a bit of a subliminal thing going on. Yet regardless of the name, it was one of the nicest dessert wines I've ever tasted. The odor was super fragrant, full of ripe peaches, and the taste was like little tiny little bubbles of candy.

It was the 2008 Sweepstakes winner and is a rare wine that is only produced when all the right pieces fall into place. One of those pieces being a natural mold called Botrytis cinerea (otherwise known as "noble rot"). But before you get skeeved out by the mold idea, let me tell you what it does. The mold weakens the grape skins and causes water to evaporate, creating crazy sweet juices. These juices then are turned into delicious wine.

If you're a fan of dessert wines — or are looking for one to try — then be sure to look this one up. I went back for a second tasting and can't wait to order a bottle of my own.

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