by Fred McMillin
for March 18, 1999


A High Hat Muscat


Muscat vines are thought to be the oldest known to man. Indeed, there is even a theory that all of the world's great wine varieties evolved from the Muscat.

...J. Robinson, Vines, Grapes & Wines "From a handful of rare and exotic plantings, Rosenblum Cellars has found enough rare and exotic grapes in California to make a flavor-packed 1996 Black Muscat dessert wine."

...WineDay of Sept. 24, 1997

The Rest of the Story

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that ace-winemaker Kent Rosenblum was able to get more of those grapes, and turned out a 1997 vintage... just as smooth and rich as the '96.

The bad news is that it takes time for me to fit a wine into a panel tasting and then get the results into print. The winery tells me that by the time you read this, it may be sold out. So, move fast. If this one's gone, try one of the other Rosenblum dessert wines, and/or get on the list for the next vintage.

Today's Wine

Early Label 1997 Black Muscat, Appellation—California
Rosenblum Cellars, Alameda, CA.
Food Affinities—I tried the winery's suggestion: blueberries and blackberries on French vanilla ice cream while you sip...plus your favorite crisp cookies for texture...and a few teaspoons of the Muscat poured on the dessert. EASY and EXQUISITE!
For More Info—(510) 865-7007
Price—Only $10 for 375 ml. bottle


A few decades ago, vines for Black Muscat wine grew in a California vineyard south of San Francisco. They were owned by the Jesuits, and you might be suprised to know the name of one of the novices who nurtured them. He later became governor of the state, and now is the mayor of Oakland, Jerry Brown!


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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