Muscat: The Venerable

Learn About Muscat

There’s a white wine that you remind me of, Muscat, with your searing acidity. Your need for a little residual sugar to balance this austerity stirs a little something in me too. Ah, yes, Riesling. But you are a heartier wine grape, Muscat, than Riesling. An ancient grape. If a vine’s age can be determined by the number of clones or variations it manifests, you a very old dog indeed. It is even believed that you are the ancestor from which all wine is made.

In structure you can be lean with your high acidity and are cloaked in perfume, maybe too much for a beginner wine drinker. You can be bone dry at that. Or you can otherwise be full-bodied, viscous and honeyed. You may even take on a pronounced dried fruit character in your full-bodied ness. Sparkling is still another of your traits along with any combination of the previous structures. But what I know you best as, Muscat, is fortified wine. In this distinguished wine profile everything about you is heightened or magnified.

No matter your incarnation, Muscat, one trait stands out always: pronounced grapiness. You are liquid grape. A long-lived flavor bomb of a wine with high extract, high acidity and high alcohol.

You boast of nearly 200 clones and do your best work in warm to hot climates. You produce small berries and smaller yields compared to most and your grape clusters move from white to pale yellow and every color in between.

Due to those high sugar levels and subsequently high alcohol and high extract, you have been best known for your long-standing tradition as a dessert wine. Fortification is your striped suit and you are the bee. Bzzzzz…

Maderization is your friend. Your up-front fruitiness stirs memories of crème bruleé
when you are heated and oxidized. A good amount of residual sugar is a natural balance to your searing, I like that word, searing acidity.

In your many years you have been all over the globe and have developed a legendary ability to adapt to a plethora of soils and climes. Southern Europe especially has a long tradition with your wine variety. Wherever you have laid your hat in this world of wine, Muscat, it stands in tradition that you have always made for fine dessert wines.

Varietal Styles
  • Fresh Grapes
  • White Raisins
  • Mango
  • Apricot
  • Honey Suckle
  • Citrus
  • Orange Blossom
  • Concentrated Must
  • Rum Raisin
  • Dried Apricot
  • Dried Mango
  • Crystalized Honey
  • Citrus Peel
  • Orange Zest

Grape Styles
Musk | Fresh Grapes | Golden Raisins | Honey | Honeysuckle | Citrus | Apricot | Mango | Orange Blossom | Rosewater | Burnt Caramel | Mousy/Earthy

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Propeller
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
Leave a Reply