Moscatel is the Spanish and Portuguese word for a fortified wine made with the muscat grape variety. Muscat grapes are not a single grape variety, but a whole group of hundreds different grape varieties, ranging from white to almost black grapes. Muscat grapes are one of the oldest grape varieties still left, already used by the ancient Greeks. Therefore it’s not surprising a lot of different wines in large parts of the world are made with this grape variety, ranging from Moscato d’Asti in Italy to Kopke’s Moscatel from the Douro region in Portugal. Muscat wines can be dry, medium, sweet, sparkling or a desert wine (fortified). Wines made with Muscat grapes have a low acidity, and can’t be aged a lot, unless it’s fortified like this Moscatel by Kopke, which is a whopping 10 years old. By the way: Muscadelle, Muscadet and Muscardin do not belong to the Muscat family.
Color: Copper, or very dark amber.
Nose: Deep old sweetness, syrupy and reminiscent of sultanas. But it’s not only oozing promises of sweetness, but also some acidity seems to be present, which is rather uncommon for a Muscat Wine. Hot earth with a tiny, tiny hint of smoke, which gives the Moscatel a lot of character. Hints of pineapple, dry leaves, licorice and it has a little bit of a floral perfume too. Creamy. The nose is not far from some PX Sherries. Lovely.
Taste: Milk chocolate, vanilla and sultanas again. Peaches and apricot syrup. Some alcohol is showing as with cherry bonbons. The sweet (which seems to dissipate fast) and the acidity mingle well, and after the sweetness retracts, the acidity takes over, without being aggressive like lemon juice would. Where the nose promised a lot of sweetness the taste, luckily, is more balanced, due to perfect acidity, yet not very complex. Then nose is most definitely more complex than the taste is. So it’s not syrupy sweet nor does it have the consistency of a syrup, since the Moscatel is quite thin in texture. In the glass some long legs are showing, but not a lot, nor are they very thick. The finish is not too long, and has a little touch of grape skins. The taste has nothing to do with PX Sherries though 😉
Lovely stuff, easily drinkable and I’m quite curious for other Moscatel wines now. I hope to find one that has some more complexity in the taste. ABV for this Moscatel is 19%.