Chambers Rosewood Vineyards, Muscadelle Rutherglen - Stickie (375 mL)

“Stickies” are the affectionate name Australians give to their sweet wines. Though sticklers (so to speak) reserve the term specifically for late harvest wines and wines affected by the noble rot known as botrytis, other Aussies include the country’s phenomenal fortified wines under the sticky umbrella. The most wickedly delicious of these are the sweet fortified muscats and topaques (formerly known as Tokays) from the Victoria region. Reminiscent of toffee, brown sugar, roasted nuts, vanilla, honey, and chocolate syrup, these are wines not to be missed. - Karen MacNeil

HISTORY: For the past 40 years winemaking responsibility at Chambers has rested with Bill Chambers, Chairman of Judges at the Melbourne Wine Show since 1980 and one of Australia's most respected wine personalities. Bill has recently entrusted son, Stephen, with the care of the ‘old material’ – dark, unctuous fortified wine that has matured quietly in the Chambers’ family cellars for more than a century.

WINEMAKING: In the warm fall climate the grapes ripen and shrivel on the vines producing natural sugar levels in the range of 30-36 degrees Brix. The raisined grapes are then picked, crushed, and this intensely sweet grape juice is fortified with neutral grape spirit. A wood aging program then follows loosely resembling a solera system, lasting, in some cases, for over 100 years.

TASTING NOTES: Produced from the Muscadelle grape, and previously called Tokay, this blend is comprised of material aged between six and ten years old. Amber to old gold in color, it shows fresh honeycomb, orange peel and cold leaf-tea on the nose. The palate offers sweet toffee, citrus fruits and honey with a hint of spirit and aged oak spice on the back palate. Muscadelle carries itself with a feline grace as opposed to the powerhouse Muscat persona.