Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion To Wine states that “colheita” is a Portuguese word meaning “crop” or “harvest” and, by extension, “vintage”. This is made from 100% Moscatel de Setúbal (more commonly known as Muscat of Alexandria). The fermentation is stopped at a certain level of sweetness, by the addition of grape spirit. At just 17.5% abv, I assume that only a relatively small amount of spirit is used – which is just how I like my fortified wines. The grape skins are then left to macerate in the wine for up to 6 months, which adds a grapey freshness, not to mention intense aromas and flavours. Up to 5 years’ ageing in barrel adds richness and makes for an ever-so-slightly oxidative style of wine, with a definite marmalade tang.
OCTOBER ICC WINE TASTING – ITALIAN WHITES
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