Moscatel Wine

Moscatel is a particularly aromatic grape variety, with citrus, flowery, ‘grapey’ flavours. It ripens to high sugar levels and is ideal for making sweet, fortified wines. Two regions of Portugal are famous for sweet, fortified Moscatel: the Douro and the Peninsula of Setúbal, across the River Tagus from the city of Lisbon. it is also found a little elsewhere.
The Muscatel or Muscat grape has numerous variants across the world. Two main types are grown in Portugal, one known locally as Moscatel de Setúbal (whose international name is Muscat of Alexandria) and Moscatel Galego Branco (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains), the type found in the Douro, and recognised worldwide as the most and elegantly scented in the family – although elegance depends also upon vineyard location and vine management, and where and how the wine is made. Setúbal also has a small proportion of what is thought to be a mutation of Moscatel Galego Branco, purple-pink Moscatel Rox.

Moscatel de Setúbal
Moscatel de Setubal is a fortified wine of excellent quality, especially when aged for many years in barrels of oak. This is a wine of very intense aroma, the flowers, orange-flavored syrupy and full, which develops with age to notes of dried fruit, raisins and coffee.

Moscatel Roxo
In a very small amount, the red grape Moscatel Roxo origines wines with similar characteristics to the Moscatel de Setubal, but perhaps the finest, with aromas and flavors are very complex bitter orange, raisins, figs and hazelnuts.

Moscatel do Douro
Douro Moscatel (used also to give an aromatic lift to white Ports) is capable of making particularly interesting, complex sweet, fortified Moscatel wines. These wines tend to have good, balancing acidity, floral, citrus aromas, and flavours of orange or tangerine peel, apricots and butterscotch, turning nuttier and more figgy and raisiny the longer they remain in wooden vat. Minimum time in wood is 18 months, but most stay a little longer, while some Moscatel do Douro is aged for 10 or 20 years, and occasional wines are bottled as ‘Colheita’, with a vintage named on the bottle.

Vinho Moscatel

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