Flashcards in C45 - Fortified Muscats Deck (25)
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?
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
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