Muscat Wines of Australia

Muscat vines have been cultivated in Australia for about 100 years. Muscat grapes are popular as fresh fruit at the end of summer. Several different types of Muscat grape are grown as wine grapes and several different wine styles have been developed ranging from crisp dry whites, rich late harvest sweet wines and the unique and world renowned fortified Liqueur Muscats.

Liqueur Muscats (see "Blended Wines" for more information)
The fortified Muscats are produced in Rutherglen and Glenrowan in northeast Victoria.. The grape is Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains (which is also called Brown Muscat or White Frontignan). Fortification is the process of adding alcohol spirit to the fermenting wine. The sudden addition of alcohol kills the yeasts. This yields a strong wine, sweet and rich. The tradition in Australia has been to mature the Muscat for a long time in oak barrels (for 10-40 years or more). Long ageing concentrates and harmonizes the components of the wine and develops rich, smooth, soft flavours.

Rutherglen Wine Styles

Rutherglen Muscats are classified under four designations that mark a progression in richness, complexity and intensity of flavour.

Rutherglen Muscat

The foundatrion of the style. Displays fresh raisin aromas, rich fruit, clean spirit and great length of flavour on the palate. Average age 2-5 years.

Classic Rutherglen Muscat

Displays a greater level of richness and complexity, produced through a blending of selected parcels of wine, often matured in various sizes of oak cask to impart the distinctive dry "rancio" characters produced from maturation in seasoned wood. Average age 5-10 years.

Grand Rutherglen Muscat

Displays a new level of intensity, depth and concentration of flavour, mature rancio characters, and a complexity which imparts layers of texture and flavour. Average age 10-15 years.

Rare Rutherglen Muscat

These are the pinnacle Rutherglen Muscats. Fully developed and displaying the extraordinary qualities that result from the blending of selected parcels of only the very richest, and most complete wines in the cellar. Rare Rutherglen Muscats are only bottled in tiny quantities each year. Minimum age 20+ years.
(information from www.rutherglenvic.com)

Rutherglen Fortified Muscats

  • All Saints Classic Rutherglen Muscat
  • Amuze. Sonoma Valley Portworks Rutherglen and McClaren Vale Muscat
  • Bailey's Muscat Founder Liqueur
  • Best's Liqueur Muscat
  • Brown Brothers Muscat Liqueur Muscat
  • Buller Calliope Rare Liqueur Muscat Rutherglen
  • Buller Fine Old Muscat
  • Buller Victoria Muscat
  • Campbells Winery Classic Rutherglen Muscat
  • Campbells Winery Rutherglen Muscat Rutherglen
  • Campbells Winery Merchant Prince Rare Muscat Rutherglen
  • Chambers Rosewood Winery Grand Muscat Rutherglen
  • Chambers Liqueur Muscat
  • Chambers Rosewood Light Muscat
  • Chambers Rutherglen Muscat
  • Chambers Grand Rutherglen Muscat
  • Chambes Special Muscat
  • De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat
  • McWilliams Hanwood Classic Muscat
  • McWilliams RR Brown Muscat
  • McWilliams Regional Reserve Brown Muscat
  • Morris Black Label Liqueur Muscat
  • Morris Classic Liqueur Muscat
  • Morris Rare Liqueur Muscat
  • Rutherglen Estates Muscat a Petit Grains Rutherglen
  • Seppeltsfield Wines Cellar No. 8 Rutherglen Muscat
  • Seppeltsfield Wines Muscat Cellar No. 9 Rutherglen
  • Seppeltsfield Wines Grand Muscat
  • Skillogalee Liqueur Muscat
  • Stanton & Killeen Wines Australian Muscat Rutherglen
  • Stanton & Kileen Classic Rutherglen Muscat
  • Trevor Jones Old Barossa Muscat
  • Wandin Valley Muscat
  • West Cape Howe Wines Muscat NV
  • Yalumba Museum Muscat Barossa
  • Yalumba Ressrve Muscat

Table Wines
Both Muscat of Alexandria (Muscat Gordo Blanco or Lexia) and Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains are used to make light fruity table wines of varying degrees of complexity. Dry spicy wines can be created by picking the grapes early before they become too rich and sweet.

Late Harvest Muscats
Muscat Blanc grapes are left on the wine to ripen and mature late into the autumn. The wines produced from these grapes exhibit luscious richness and mouth-filling flavours.

Orange Muscat
There is no general agreement on the lineage of Orange Muscat. Some wine experts state that the grape is not a member of the Muscat family-others disagree. A few vintners grow Orange Muscat which is used in the production of dessert wines.