I have a confession to make. . .
I like moscatos. The good ones. Not the tacky, cheap and nasty OTT sweet things you buy for a tenner, or moscatos that are done in a populist, heavily processed style, finished in a way that could only be called, the Creaming Soda Pop Fizz of the wine industry….
And I love muscat liqueurs, so rich and full of flavour, they are distinct and delicious. Capable of dramatic perfume and deep flavours that last for minutes in your mouth after consumption.
I love balanced, finely tuned and subtle moscatos that have all the subtleties and complexities that the muscat variety can bring. I desire the flavours and perfume of roses and grapes and Turkish Delight that remind me of fresh confectionary.
It is why I wanted to make my own. A complex, fragrant, balanced and subtle, stand out moscato that was completely and totally …. dry! So I embarked on an adventure that other winemakers warned me not to dare.
I wanted to see what old-vine black muscat can do when fermented longer and macerated further than other winemakers would do. Hand plunged and extracted kindly and basically treated like a complex red wine. And then fermented completely dry. No-one could actually tell me if it would taste any good at all, no-one would dare release a muscat that didn’t have some residual for effect and structure. I had to find out myself.
I was intrigued beyond control …
The Making of a Rosé Wine
Consider my 2015 ‘A Boy with Fruit’ Dry Black Muscat rosé wine.
I was told it would be too much, and too ‘musky’ or too ‘foxy’ (I’m still not sure what that meant… smell like fox pee? or a goat in season??) or just wouldn’t taste right.
I found the 30 and 50 year old vines of good old reliable, disease-resistant stock. I harvested them when I knew the flavour and acid would be favourable and I was getting the tell tale perfumes of the aromatic terpenes and flavours that come with ripe muscat – you can almost smell it in the vineyard, it is that potent.
Well the wine I made is potent alright. And subtle, light bodied. Really great fun. The aromas are concentrated rose water and dried strawberry with grape bubble-gum and Turkish Delight. The palate was low in acid but fresh, with sour notes of dried cranberries and cherries, mixed red berry confection and dried oily apricots and stone fruit. But all in a playful, subtle, light and elegant way.
Conde Naste 2015 Rosalia Rosé Wine Review
Notable sommeliers and wine writers, like Samantha Payne fell in love with the wine for being unique and adventurous. The Rosalia dry Black Muscat was noted as one of the Top 15 roses around the World in Conte Naste Traveller, August 24, 2017. Ms Payne said:
2015 A Boy with Fruit Rosalia Dry Black Muscat Rosé, $22 (Australia)
Though black muscat is best known as a sweet dessert wine from California, this dark pink rosé shows off the varietal’s exciting versatility. “It’s a textural and floral style of rosé with a dark, almost pinotesque color,” says Payne. “The nose is immediately alive with rosewater, strawberry, and lychee. The palate has a hint of musk, red berries, and Earl Grey, with a crunchy red apple texture. It’s deliciously intriguing.”