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Flashcards in C45 - Fortified Muscats Deck (25)
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What flavour features are common to all of the major Muscat varieties?

They all have low to medium acidity and display perfumed aromas of orange blossom, rose and grape


Describe the best environment for growing Muscats

Warm/hot climates but typically with some cooling influences


What does a cooling influence do to benefit Muscat grapes?

Help to preserve the grapes' acidity levels and aromas


What are the two broad styles into which Muscats are made?

Youthful and unaged
Fully developed after an extended period of ageing


Describe the profile of youthful, unaged, fortified Muscats

Typically sweet, but rarely luscious
Medium gold in colour
Floral and aromatic


What is the aim of a winemaker for youthful, unaged Muscat?

To make sure that varietal character is as pure as possible


Give a notable example of a youthful, unaged fortified Muscat

Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (Southern Rhône)


At what point will grapes be picked for youthful, unaged fortified Muscats?

When they are ripe and healthy (rather than raising them, as this will mask the pure varietal characteristics)


How is aromatic intensity and richness added to youthful fortified Muscats when the grapes reach the winery?

Some skin contact is widely used


How can the effect of skin contact be further enhanced when vinifying youthful Muscat?

By extending skin contact into/throughout fermentation


Describe fermentation of fortified, youthful Muscat styles

Fermentation is cool and stopped by fortification


What is used to fortify fermenting Muscat and stop fermentation?

96% abv grape spirit


How are primary fruit flavours preserved in fortified, youthful Muscats before bottling?

The wines are stored in inert vessels prior to bottling and protected from any contact with oxygen


Describe the range of key attributes in fully developed, aged Muscats

They range in colour from amber to brown and can be sweet or luscious


Where are aged Muscats made?

In many countries


Where do some of the most celebrated examples of luscious Muscats come from?

Rutherglen, Australia


What will determine the style of Rutherglen Muscats?

Timing of the harvest
When the wines are fortified
Length and type of ageing the wines undergo


Describe harvest of grapes for aged fortified Muscats

They will be picked when ripe and healthy


Describe harvest for luscious styles of Muscat

The producer may want some raisining to occur before harvest


What is the risk of excessive raisining when harvesting Muscats for a luscious style?

Grapes can lose too much of their varietal aromas and resulting wines can lack an expressive Muscat character


Describe fermentation for aged, fortified Muscats

Fermentation will nearly always take place on the skins
For luscious styles, fortification may take place when fermentation has reached only 2% abv


What will happen once grapes have been fortified for aged/luscious Muscats?

They will undergo a period of oxidative ageing that can last for decades


Describe key elements of the ageing process for maturation of Muscats

Old wood
Large oak vessels
Occasionally aged in warm conditions


Describe fortified Muscats as they age

They become amber and finally brown
Develop pronounced oxidative aromas
Even when very old, they can still retain their Muscat aromas


What practice is common with Muscats at the end of ageing and just before bottling?

They are given an aromatic lift by blending in a small amount of more youthful wine prior to bottling