Wine for Spring
Spring has finally sprung! We had a lot of rain this winter but finally there’s a freshness in the air, flowers are bursting into bloom, and the sun is shining. Everything feels new and glorious. And of course, this makes me thirsty. There’s a wine for that.
2009 Botani Moscatel
This is a really unusual, interesting wine! It’s made from a grape called Moscatel which is a variety of Muscat. Muscat grapes are usually made into sweet, dessert wines. Think of Moscato d’Asti from Italy. This wine, however, is unique because it is completely dry! It’s amazingly aromatic but not sweet. If you’ve never had a dry Muscat wine before, you’re in for a surprising treat. It’s grown in southern Spain, high up in the mountains in the province of Malaga. It’s pretty hot there so grapes have traditionally been grown just to make raisins.
The vines are 70 years old and all organically farmed. The red slate soil doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrients. And they don’t get a lot of rainfall. Machines can’t really navigate the terrain so the grapes are all harvested by hand. Man that seems like a lot of work. But because of all of these factors – the old vines, the arid climate, the low nutrient content – only a limited number of grapes make it to harvest. And the ones that do make it are jam-packed with concentrated flavor.
It takes a world-class team to make high-quality wine in these conditions. Botani is a collaboration between the Ordoñez and Kracher families. Jorge Ordoñez is one of the leading Spanish importers in the US and the Kracher family are highly regarded Austrian winemakers.
This is the perfect wine for spring because of it’s freshness and it’s verve. There is so much life in this wine – it just bursts forth out of the glass like the whole world does at springtime. Even the bottle reminds of me spring with the grass shoots growing.
This wine is so beautifully fragrant. It smells like spring flowers! It has strong fruit too like lychees and oranges. On the palate it’s dry but really full and dense, almost oily. It finishes crisp and clean but the perfume lingers on…You could pair this with fresh fish, lightly grilled meat, even sushi. But my favorite pairing for the 2009 Botani is with a hopeful, blooming spring day. Cheers!