- 100% Muscat à Petits Grains Rouge
The sixth generation of the Chambers family to make wine in the Rosewood winery, Stephen, took over the winemaking in 2001. This venerable winery, started in 1858 by William Chambers, is one of the most fabled in Rutherglen. This charming, northeastern Victorian town, the sort of place that time forgot, still speaks of the gold rush that led to the town’s foundation, and the development of the wine industry, in the 1850s.
Chambers make distinctive yet classical wines from their 50 hectares of vineyard. The Rutherglen Muscat is made from the Muscat à Petits Grains Rouge variety. Winemaking has been subtly changed in recent years in order to make fresher, cleaner wines. Fermentation takes place in closed stainless steel tanks so as to preserve the grapes’ perfumes. The darker skinned Muscat à Petits Grains Rouge (a mutation of Muscat à Petits Grains Blanc) undergoes minimal skin contact. Fermentation is stopped when the alcohol reaches between 14.5 and 15.5 Baumé (potential alcohol) by adding neutral grape spirit. Upon settling, the wine is racked off gross lees and placed into old oak casks (from 10 to 100 years old, and from 225 litres all the way up to 5,000 litres in size) until required for blending. The wines are kept as single vintage and vineyard blocks until needed for the Rutherglen Muscat blend. The average age of the blend is four years, an average that has increased in the last couple of years as new vineyards have come into production.
The wine, rich and unctuous on the palate yet zesty and balanced on the finish, mingles dried fruit characters with hints of rose petals. It is a superb wine to sip on its own, with cheese or with a wide variety of desserts. With every sip, it is a reminder that Rutherglen produces some of the greatest sweet wines in the world!