Kopke Moscatel 10 Years Old

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.

Kopke Moscatel 10 Years OldColor: 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%.

Points: 85

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Torres Viña Brava Parellada Muscat 2012

And here we have yet another summer Wine brought into our lives by my mother. This time from spanish giants Torres. Viña Brava is a series that convey the flavors of the mediterranean coast and in this case Catalonia. For 2013 the Parellada grape is combined with Garnacha Blanca to form a semi sweet white Wine, but this 2012 expression combines Parellada with the Muscat grape for a medium sweet white Wine. 11,5% ABV.

Torres has a nice website where this expression I’m about to review isn’t present. Advised drinking temperature for this wine is 10ºC (for fish and seafood), but with these 30ºC temperatures we have outside at the moment, this wine can be very well drunk with ice-cubes (as an aperitif or hot-weather refreshment).

Color: Light white wine.

Nose: Sweet, peaches and apricots (fresh ones and dried ones). It has a nice refreshing acidity as well. Lime juice and spicy. Nice.

Taste: Lemony and half-sweet. Good balance and very refreshing (I’m tasting this at the advised temperature without ice-cubes). Quite simple, but that isn’t a problem with this kind of wine in these circumstances. A very nice summer wine, like a lemonade. Clear apple juice.

Again thumbs up from my mother and my wife, and who am I to say something different! It’s easy and laid-back, luckily not too sweet with a nice acidity to it. Good.

Points: 79

Fattoria La Vialla Passito 2009

Fattoria La Vialla Passito 2009Here is another bottle from Fattoria La Vialla that found its way into my castle. Click here for the review of the NubeRosa 2010. This is exactly why I keep the draw-bridge down a lot, so things like this come my way. It was brought in to accompany dessert. This Moscato di Sicilia is a dessert wine @ 14.5% ABV. The bottle here is a 375 ml. which is a fine size for many über-sweet wines. The bottle I’m about to review is from lot 29 17082011.

Color: Copper

Nose: Sweet (obviously). Musty, but also has a distant acidic freshness to it. Gravy, with a little bit of smoke and cold tea. Some small hints of peaches. The nose is nicely balanced. Over time it becomes less sweet and maybe somewhat more acidic.

Taste: Not as syrupy or sweet as I’m used to. Again nicely balanced between the sour and the sweet. Dried apricots, but no sign of raisins. Due to the acidity, the whole is rather fresh.

It’s a dessert wine, but less sweet as one might think. Absolutely better than I thought. The whole comes across as being honest.

Points: 80

Thanks go out to Nicole for bringing the wine!