Rich Muscat

January 2009

Australia has bestowed two unique gifts on the winelovers of the world: sparkling Shiraz — or spurgle, as it is fondly known — and liqueur muscat. Not only wine writers Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson but also Gilles Hennessy of the Hennessy cognac family have poured praise over the rich and luscious liqueur muscats of Rutherglen in northeast Victoria.

A tiny bottle of a remarkable example of this gorgeous drink found its way to the Newton household recently: a 300ml sample of All Saints Rutherglen Museum Muscat, which, I should warn you, retails at around $1000 a handcut Italian glass bottle. Ageing from around 1920 and topped up in the solera system with younger vintages, it was, I’m sorry to tell you, magnificent, with a richness and marathon length on the palate. You’ve almost forgotten you drank it and the rich fruit pudding flavour comes flooding back. Anyway, you may have a spare $1000 to buy a bottle; if so, go to

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