...so back a bit before Christmas, the monkeys delivered an early gift of some
2009 Maroon Muscat Late Harvest, Napa Valley
That I've been sipping and sharing for over a week now, no small feat considering it's only a split.
A pale straw in appearance, initially this was close to fridge temp and entirely too cold to have much of a nose at all, but allowed to warm, honey seems to dominate over a bit of green apple and ethanol.
Pleasant to sip, and compared to other LH I've had, quite light on the palate. The honey still dominates, but not in the way of a Mead, as some stone fruit is also lurking. Not an overly sweet LH, and not highly viscous, but with plenty of fruit and some acidity to balance.
First tasting was for dessert, following a Christmas 2nd supper, where I posted the evenings' flight;
Then on to a Muscat/Moscato/Vignoles/Semillon desert tasting
- 2012 Concha y Toro Moscatel de Alejandría
- 2009 Late Harvest coming up soon -> 2009 Maroon Muscat Late Harvest, Napa Valley
- 2009 Trader Joe's Moscato Late Harvest
- 2007 Hunt Country Vineyards Vignoles Late Harvest
- 2010 Waterbrook Sémillon Late Harvest Sémillon Walla Walla Valley
- NV Quady Winery Orange Muscat Essensia
The Moscatel was the lightest of the evening, followed by the Quady then the Maroon. TJ's, Hunt and the Waterbrook were substantially more viscous and mouth coating than the Maroon, but one was labeled an ice wine, and the other close to it. Quite a spectrum of samples, but we did have a couple 2009's, the Maroon and TJ's for LH. Surprisingly he TJ Moscato was the clear winner with five tasters (4-F, 1-M), with four of the five detecting a bitterness on the finish of the Maroon, it's only negative.
Following New Year's Day's supper, the TJ and Maroon were poured blind for three additional tasters (2-F, 1-M). Here both women liked the TJ and the male the Maroon, with no mention of bitterness. The women just preferred the additional sweetness not offered by the Maroon.
This evening, with a new set of tasters and again blind, (2-F, 2-M), the split was even, the women preferred the TJ and the men the Maroon.
I followed this up as well and found some of the objectionable ethanol had all but disappeared, and the bitterness substantially diminished; even to the point had I not been searching for it it would likely have passed unnoticed.
From it's initial opening, it was stored, sans Ar., in it's corked bottle upright in a standard fridge, as were the other bottles.
This evening the Maroon was my clear preference over the TJ, a reversal from my initial impressions. The honey is still there, a bit or nuttiness as well and that sweetness seems to have diminished, it just seems to have integrated or smoothed out over the week it's been open. A bit of a chameleon, but a pleasant one.
Not sure where the price point will come in here for this $30 at release split, but at ~$15 it would be a buy.