Every few years, WineShop At Home, the Napa winery I’m affiliated with, comes out with a Black Muscat. It is a delightful wine but one that I don’t know much about. So, I decided to do some research. Here’s what I learned. Thank you to thebacklabel and Stanne’s Vineyards for their help with this article.
What Is Black Muscat?
It is believed that this grape was created in 1850 in England by a man named R. Snow who crossed Schiava Grossa (a.k.a. Trollinger), a German/Italian red, with Muscat of Alexandria, a white wine grape considered to be one of the oldest wine grapes around.
According to thebacklabel, “Black Muscat fruit is large and swollen, boasting a delicious floral aroma that might encourage you to eat them by the handful.”
The grape, which is black (actually, blue) skinned, is known by many other names, many including the word Hamburg (e.g., Muscat Hamburg and Golden Hamburg).
Where Is It Grown?
In France, the grape is highly touted, so production is very regulated, to the point where the vineyards are harvested by hand with scissors.
In the United States, the grape is grown in California, Oregon and new York. California’s temperate climate makes it a perfect grape for the area.
In countries like Serbia and Macedonia, they use the grape to make a light, dry red.
In Australia, the grape can often be found in supermarkets for table consumption. YUM! Australia loves Muscat and is sad that they don’t have enough Black Muscat. So, they often combine it with other Muscats to make what they call a Pink Moscato.
Wine Searcher actually says that the grape is primarily made for eating and that the bulk of Black Muscat wine comes from California. Interesting.
The wine is also produced in Greece, Italy, China and Israel.
What Are Its Characteristics?
From a looks perspective, the wine is too light to be a red and too dark to be a Rosé. Hmmm. I guess it’s a category unto itself. It’s very beautiful.
The wine is thought of as both a dessert wine and a table wine.
In comparison to other Muscats, this grape tends to be lighter and less complex.
Introducing WineShop At Home’s Fleur Bleu Black Muscat
Our 2020 Fleur Bleu California Black Muscat is a young wine that contains some dissolved carbon dioxide, which allows an extra burst of flavors in the nose and mouth. According to our wine maker Alex, “If you like Jolly Rancher or Twizzlers, you are in luck. With aromas of strawberry, raspberry, watermelon and citrus, this Muscat is round and syrupy in the mouth. This lower-alcohol, sweet wine has a short to medium-length and an aromatic and fruity mouthfeel. It is crisp and acidic and will mellow nicely a few weeks after release.”
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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