Floral testimony

by Matt Walls
In the car park on my street there is a rose bush. Every so often when walking past I pause to cup one of the red flowers in my hand,...
90

NV Torres Florales Moscatel Oro, Penedès

( £10, 15%, Fareham Wine Cellar, Waitrose, Winedirect )

A rich, even heady expression of the Moscatel (Muscat) grape, this is luscious and palate-coating, with flavours of orange peel, dried fruits and beeswax and spirity note that complements rather than overwhelms the wine. Sweet and complex, it’s really good with full-flavoured desserts.

Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Spain, Fortified, Muscat à Petits Grains
92

2013 G.D. Vajra, Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont

( £12, 5.5%, Liberty Wines )

How many wines make you want to start dancing? I love the perfumed frivolity of this wine. Sweet, frothy and perfumed, it’s a wonderful expression of the Moscato grape. The alcohol is low, the flavours are fresh and aromatic. What’s not to like? Try it with a bowl of strawberries. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, White, Muscat à Petits Grains
92

2013 De Martino Viejas Tinajas Muscat, Itata Valley

( £10-15, 12.5%, Les Caves de Pyrene )

De Martino’s Viejas Tinajas project is producing some of Chile’s most interesting wines at the moment. This savoury, aromatic white has a touch of grapeskin bitterness to it that adds structure as well as a layer of complexity. It’s not a typical Muscat by any means: you can taste the grapey notes of the variety but they are subtle and restrained rather than overt. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Chile, White, Muscat à Petits Grains
87

2012 Chartreuse de Mourgères Le Pèlerin Blanc, Pays de Caux

( £6.25, 12.5%, The Wine Society )

The grapes for this blend of Sauvignon, Vermentino and a hint of grapey Muscat come from land formerly owned by a Carthusian monastery in the Languedoc. It’s certainly an unusual wine with notes of wild herbs and flowers and a slight sweetness that reminds you of acacia honey. The Muscat adds an oily richness to the crisp frame.

BuySimilar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Muscat à Petits Grains, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino

Forbidden Fruit

by Matt Walls
If Jesus had chosen something other than the fruit of the vine for his followers to worship him with, today’s wine lovers might have a harder time indulging their hobby....
88

2011 Domaine de Paparotier Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Rhône Valley

( £8.99 down to £6.74, 15%, Marks & Spencer )

If you’ve got a sweet tooth but don’t want to spend more than £10 on a bottle of something special for Christmas, this southern Rhône fortified ticks all the right boxes. It’s a very elegant style, wtih subtle fortification, aromas of wild flowers, honey and peach and a refreshing finish that doesn’t cloy in the slightest. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, Fortified, Muscat à Petits Grains
97

NV All Saints Grand Rutherglen Muscat, Rutherglen, Victoria

( £75, 18%, Cockburn & Campbell )

Rare sums it up. It’s not often that I’m reduced to silent contemplation, but that happened here. This is a tresure of a wine, one to be sipped and supped and drooled over. Incredibly perfumed, rose petal and rancio aromas sashay intocomplex, nut fig and walnut flavours on the palate. Decadent, complex, concentrated and intense. Essence of Rutherglen. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-25Similar Wines: £50-£100, 96-100, Australia, Fortified, Muscat à Petits Grains