From Rutherglen, the home of the Australian sticky, this fabulously sweet dessert wine is light amber in colour, with floral notes of crushed rose petal, lavender and orange blossom. The palate is full of rich raisins and Turkish delight with a smooth, velvety palate, and a lingering finish.
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. The Rutherglen is the youngest and freshest, blended from several vintages with an average age of two to four 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