From Rutherglen, the home of the Australian sticky, the multi award-winning Classic fortified Muscat boasts a complex palate of cocoa, rich raisin fruit, rose petal and dried fig. Perfect as an after-dinner drink with a couple of squares of dark chocolate. A splendid accompaniment to any Christmas celebration.
Dating back to 1875, the Stanton & Killeen family estate is now run by the mother and daughter team of Wendy and Natasha Killeen. They make a wide range of wines, including Portuguese varieties, flavoursome Rutherglen reds and various fortified varieties, of which their award-winning Muscats are the best known.
There are four tiered classifications of these non-vintage fortified Muscats: Rutherglen, Classic, Grand and Rare. One of the most popular and highly awarded wines in the range, the Classic is the perfect balance of old and new material, expertly blended with an average age of 12 years.
The Muscat grapes are picked at optimum ripeness, with high levels of natural grape sugar and the flavours that come from extended ripening. Once picked, they are crushed and kept on skins until fermentation commences, at which point they are quickly pressed and fortified with grape spirit. This early fortification preserves the high natural sugars while the short fermentation releases additional flavour from the skins. Once fortified, the wine is stored in large oak casks for three to four years before they are assessed and sorted into the various classifications.
Once bottled, no further ageing will occur, so the wines should be enjoyed within a year or two of purchase. It’s freshest within the first few weeks of opening the bottle and won’t “go off”.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY