Muscat Wines
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.

 
Muscat Wines of Austria
In Austria Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains is known as Gelber Muskateller, Muscateller or Muscat Lunel.

Austria's best Muscat wines are produced from this grape. Dry Muscat wine is made from Gelber Muskateller in the Wachau, Sudsteiermark and Burgenland.
In Styria (Steiermark), the most southern wine growing region of Austria, in the South Styrian Wine Road, Muskateller and Sauvignon Blanc are the most popular grapes.

The town of Rust, near Lake Neusiedl is justly famous for its dessert wine, "Ruster Ausbruch". Gelber Muskateller is one of the grapes used in making this outstanding wine.

The most predominant Muscat grape however, is Muscat Ottonel which is used to produce late-harvest wines in the Neusiedlersee.

 
Muscat Wines of Belgium
Belgium is not a major European wine producer. However, the list of main vines used in production of AOC wines includes Muscat. Many Belgian vineyards are located between the towns of Leuven and Diest. In Overijse Chasselas and Muscat are grown as table grapes.
 
Muscat Wines of Bulgaria

Grape growing and wine production in Bulgaria date back to the ancient Thracians about 3000 years ago. Ottoman domination from 1393 to 1878 resulted in a ban on wine production but throughout that period Bulgaria continued to grow table grapes. Around the mid 1960's the wine industry was modernized and in 1990 Bulgaria produced 40 million gallons of wine much of which was exported to the west.

Bulgaria has five distinct viticultural areas (Danubian Plain-Northern region, Black Sea-Eastern region, Rose Valley-Sub Balkan region, Thracian Lowland-Southern region, Struma River Valley-South Western region).

Muscat Ottonel (Misket Ottonel) is grown in the Danubian Plain region (North Bulgaria) and the Black Sea [Chernomorski] region (East Bulgaria). In 2006 white wine grapes occupied 42% of the planted vineyards. Muscat Ottonel made up 12% of this white grape production.

Muscat is grown in the Rose Valley region (Sub-Balkan) and the Thracian Lowland (South Bulgaria). The area around Plovdiv produces the Muscat wine of Brezovo and Karlovo.

The Chernomorski region also produces sweet wines from Bulgarian White Muscat (Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains) grapes.

The Muscats du Monde website states that there is also a Red Muscat grape (Songurlare).grown in the country.

Most Bulgarian wines produced from Muscat grapes are sweet dessert wines.

 

(A pink-skinned grape variety Misket Cherven or Red Misket is grown in the
Rose Valley This is an indigenous Bulgarian grape but there is no evidence that it is related to the Muscat grape family.)
Read more...
 
Muscat Wines of Canada
Apart from Icewine not many outstanding wines were produced in Canada prior to 1990. This, of course, has changed and Canada is now making many acceptable and a few outstanding wines.

Only a few regions in Canada are suitable for European wine grapes and many hybrids are grown.. Ontario and British Columbia are the two main wine growing areas in Canada.

The Muscat grape is not widely grown in Canada. There are a few Nova Scotia and Ontario wineries that grow the hybrid New York Muscat grape. Muscat Ottonel has established itself in several wineries in Ontario and British Columbia and there are very small plantings of Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and the black Muscat Hamburg across the country.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Blue Grouse Vineyards
Black Muscat

Blue Grouse makes a wine called Black Muscat. The aromatic dry red wine is aged in American oak barrels. The final product is exotic with a powerful aroma. The winemaker suggests that it be enjoyed with dishes like foie gras.

Calona  Vineyards
Sovereign Opal
This winery grows a Muscat hybrid grape developed exclusively for them by Agriculture Canada, called Sovereign Opal, a cross between Marechal Foch and Golden Muscat. The wine 2008 vintage is described as "exotic flowers, papaya, melon and passion-fruit aromas leap from the glass of this truly one of a kind wine". (Quote from the winery website)

Hillside Estate Winery
Muscat Ottonel 2009
This wine is made from 100% Muscat Ottonel grapes grown by the winery. It is the only wine of its kind produced in the Okanagan Valley. Comments on the wine include: "luscious sweet-edged", "fresh and nicely vegetal", "Lovely floral aromas and hint of spice". The winery suggests that it pairs perfectly with Thai food .

JOIE FARM
Muscat 2009
Varietal: Moscato Giallo (Yellow Muscat)
"The wine exhibits a classic Muscat nose, spsicy and grapey, like the white pepper aroma of freesia flowers. The structure of the wine is light medium bodied and slightly off dry with mouth watering acidity. The nose carries through to the palate where flavours of ripe peach, orange blossom and lemon drop candies are realized. The finish is long and satisfying, as juicy white peach suddenly delivers the Okanagan Valley hallmark|" (Quotes from the winery website)

L.a Frenz Winery
Alexandria.
"
This wine has so much fruit and concentration that is is just an explosion of flavor, akin to eating freshly picked Muscat grapes (only better)....The wine is a kaleidoscope of tropical fruits, lychee, and musk. The fermentation was stopped to retain natural sweetness making it the perfect pairing with spicy foods or simply chilled for that special moment." (Quotes from winery website)

NV Liqueur Muscat
A fortified Muscat, in the style made internationally famous by the Rutherglen area of Australia, "The wine is produced in a traditional solera system meaning the average age of the blend is getting progressively older. Every year's release has a percentage of our first vintage in 1999. It has beautiful flavors of caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon, muscat fruit with that lovely sweet, power and complexity that can only come from time." (Quote from the winery website)

NOVA SCOTIA

Domaine de Grande Pre
Vintner's Reserve Muscat 2008
This intensely aromatic wine displays spicy notes of cloves and apricots together the fruitiness of orange blossom and strawberries. Long, balanced and elegant, enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or with spicy Asian cuisine.

New York Muscat Ice Wine
This Ice wine has been left to ferment in cask, producing a complex and layered wine. It displays rich notes of papaya, preserved peach, dried apricot and Bartlett pear, in perfect balance with a crisp lively acidity that lingers on the palette. Enjoy these great flavours on their own or to compliment dessert and cheese

Fortified White Wine
This wine displays interesting notes of dried fruit, apple, candied apricot, honey and oak and offers a pleasing balance of sweetness, acidity and tannins with a long lingering finish. Enjoy this rare treat on its own, to cheeses or a variety of desserts (Information obtained from winery website)


JOST Vineyards
Eagle Tree Muscat
Silver Medal winner at 2009 All-Canadian Wine Championships
The Eagle Tree Muscat is made from the "New York Muscat" grape variety, grown extensively in Nova Scotia. The full flavour and pronounced bouquet of the Eagle Tree Muscat make it an ideal wine with many spicy oriental dishes, lobster, and heavy stews. It is also the best wine for steaming mussels, giving them a wonderful flavour.

Muscat Ice Wine
Jost Vineyard's 2005 Muscat Ice Wine was made from Nova Scotia Grown New York Muscat grapes that had frozen on the vine. Harvested and pressed in December 2005 while temperatures hovered between -8C to -14C, only a few sweet drops of juice from each berry (high in sugar, flavour and balance giving acidity) were extracted and then carefully vinted under cool conditions. The unique dessert wine that emerged has complex flavours and fragrances full of apricot and citrus just waiting to be enjoyed. (Information obtained from winery website)

 
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