To make our ‘Very Special Old Muscat’ we mature Garnet in old barrels. We began the exercise in the mid nineteen eighties. We maintain a standing stock of about 3000 litres. It now includes contributions from many vintages and its average age is slowly increasing as time goes by. Maturation in barrel moves the colour into the orange spectrum, concentrates the sugar and the aroma while adding mysterious nuances that appear only in old wines matured in barrels in a dry outdoor environment. This exercise adds to the cost if only because the stuff is evaporating all the time. This is not a way to get rich. Rather, it satisfies the winemaker’s interest in fantasy, romance, mystery and wonderment. It’s about pursuing an objective regardless of the cost. Understandably, this puts sheen on the winemaker’s halo and gives him confidence in his own integrity.
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