Browse Tag


Muscat on a hot tin roof

Boxler 2012 Muscat (Alsace) — Surprisingly reticent for a muscat, taking what used to be a fairly common alternative Alsatian expression of “extremely floral riesling” more seriously than most. (10/16


Torres 2010 “Viña Esmeralda” Moscato (Cataluña) – Sweet, simple, friendly, boring in a very predictable way. I’m glad for the world’s commercial wine ventures that muscat’s popularity is exploding, because drinkable muscat is something all but the truly incompetent can pretty much make in their sleep. And if it means grafting over a few zillion acres of useless chardonnay, all the better. (2/12)


Yalumba Muscat “Museum Reserve” (South Eastern Australia) – 375 ml. My interest in wines of this overwhelming sweetness has waned over the years, and while it’s certainly impressive in its molasses-like texture and endless, sugary lingering, I just don’t want more than a few small sips of it. None of these are really criticisms – the wine’s a fine exemplar of what it purports – so much as a realization that our relationship has moved on. (12/11)

Of Corse

Antoine Arena 2010 Muscat de Cap Corse (Corsica) – Like drinking sweet, sweet sunlight from a glass of freshly-crushed ice in a field of blossoming white flowers. In Corsica, of course. (11/11)


Staldmann 2010 Gelber Muskateller Kapellenweg (Thermenregion) – Open four days, and showing itt: lightish floral elements with a barely-oxidizing structure starting to fall apart around it. I don’t think the wine was ever much more physically powerful than this, but I suspect the aromatics have suffered since opening. There’s minerality – stony, rocky – but it, too, is beginning to decline. A fresh bottle would have more to say. (11/11)

Preserving elli

Bera 2006 Canelli “Arcese” (Piedmont) – “It’s cider!” remarks one dinner guest. Well, yes, in a way; anti-naturalistas will point and complain. And it’s true that it’s not very much like what it used to be. But lingering memories of muscat and a reminiscence of something that was almost, but not quite, sparkling do still mark the wine. What marks it more, at the moment, is a skin-bitterness that I think helps along the sensation of apple-derivation. All that said, the basic “problem” is mostly just that it rewards being held this long in odd and difficult ways, and it’s probably better to drink it earlier. (8/11)

Leave the gun. Take the Canelli.

Bera 2006 Canelli “Arcese” (Piedmont) – 11.5%. There’s something between-two-worlds about this wine, with the off-dry(ish) suggestion of froth up front, and the laden structure of a skin-contact white out back. There’s not a whole lot of either, but the contrapuntal juxtaposition is brilliantly intriguing. (7/11)

And then thurn it back hon

Thurnhof 2009 Goldmuskateller (Alto Adige) – Mineral-infused muscat, more pristine and solemn than goofily floral. There’s a drenched quality to the interior, but it’s draped with a certain kind of polished armor structure. I like it. (6/11)

Durban engine

Leydier “Domaine de Durban” 2005 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (Rhône) – I keep waiting for someone to show me a better example of this wine, and year after year I come back to Leyder/Durban as the pinnacle. (I’m open to counter-suggestions, though.) The key, since my very first taste, remains a vibrant foundation of quartz-like minerality. Lots of wineries can do the perfumed sweetness, the orange blossom, the fun. The rocks are something special. And I can only guess that it’s terroir or some sort of particular cellar technique, because I find the same incredibly appealing quality in the winery’s Beaumes-de-Venise red. (9/10)