Already known in ancient Greece, Muscat-Grapes have spread all over the Mediterranean area ever since. Like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, the fragile and delicate vine is part of what we call “aromatic grape varieties”, being part of the rare varieties fully showing their aromatic potential as well in the fruit, as in the wine made of it. Greatly prized due to its charming bouquet, you will find Muscat grapes in vineyards all over the world today, from Germany to South Africa, from Brazil to Italy and of coarse is France, where it plays an important role in Alsace and Languedoc.
For the vigneron and wine maker, it is a real pleasure to work on Muscat. Early ripeness, small, compact grapes of yellow-reddish colour, you can actually make a multitude of wines with Muscat, all different in style – sweet and powerful fortified wines, fruity and crispy dry wines, or delicate and complex liquorish wines, made from over ripe, late picket grapes (vendange tardive).
At the Domaine de l’Arjolle, Muscat is a very important grape variety. Harvested in fresh nights towards the end of August, the Muscat grapes usually ring in the picking season. Fermented in different ways, this many-sided variety allows us to make our slightly sweet Allegria (35 g of residual sugar and only 10%vol. of alcohol), as well as our crispy, mineral and elegant Muscat Sec de l’Arjolle. Being also an excellent variety for blending, some of the Muscat grapes later join the flowery Viognier and the citric Sauvignon in our oak aged cuvee Équinoxe. Than again, usually mid-October, some over ripe Muscat grapes are last fruits we bring into the cellar.
The syrupy, amber coloured must pressed off, will become our LYRE, a sweet, liquorish wine, after months of slow fermentation and barrel ripening. Marked by fresh apple and pear aromas in its youth, it will have developed typical aromas of dried fruits, figs and coriander by the time it will be bottled.
You are invited to join us at the cellar during harvest, to perceive the perfume of the new vintage !