Red Hills, Lake County, CA; “100% Musque clone”; 14.5% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 21 Apr
When I picked this off the shelf, I barely noticed the “100% Musque clone” imprint on the label, but it’s actually the main feature that interested me about this wine. The Wiki page linked above says, “Musqué is a French term applied to certain varieties or clones of grapes used for making wine. The term means both perfumed (“musky”) and Muscat-like, and indicates that the variety or clone is highly aromatic.” This Sauvignon Blanc shares a lot of characteristics of the usual SB and is also distinctly Muscat-like.
This dry wine has a strong nose of perfumed yellow flowers and melon, with some citrus. On the palate, there’s a lot more of the same, with the melon being quite musky. The ripe fruit is balanced by lemony acid, bitterness of yellow / green grape skin and yellow melon rind, and a supporting minerality. On the second day, the flavors were much more forward, but I slightly preferred the balance and smoother texture on the first day. I tend to not like Muscat, finding the perfumed flavors a bit too much, and this wine slightly triggered that dislike. I’d probably prefer a Sauvignon Blanc with about 10% Musqué clone. However, I’m glad to have tried this wine, finding it very interesting and tasty.