With temperatures dropping dramatically this last week you can imagine my delight when I was given a bottle of Red Muscadel from the Badsberg Wine Cellar. Muscadel’s are deliciously rich fortified wines and served slightly chilled, make a pleasant alternative to the more traditional winter warmer – port! Cape Muscadels are predominantly made from Muscat de Frontignan grapes (the name originates from the once internationally renowned wine of Frontignan in France) and can produce both white and red versions, due to the grapes varying in skin colour from pink to reddish brown. Muscat de Frontignan was one of the first varieties planted in the Cape in the 17th century and was, and still is used in the famous Constantia sweet wines which garnered international acclaim.
Established in 1951, Badsberg Wine Cellar lies in the beautiful Rawsonville area at the foot of the magnificent Badsberg mountain. Badsberg’s emblem, depicted on each bottle, is derived from the rare and protected haemanthus coccineus or March flower found in the area and traditionally, when the flower blooms in March, the hanepoot grapes are harvested! The winery sits in the Badsberg conservancy, an area renowned for the conservation of the indigenous fauna & flora.
Badsberg produce a number of excellent unfortified and fortified wines but it is the latter style they are well known for and in particular their red Muscadel! Although the wine is fortified it has an acceptable alcohol level of 15.5% allowing for that extra glass while enjoying the warmth of the fire place! The wine has a bright reddish amber colour with fragrant aromas of crystallised cherries and Xmas fruit cake. The flavours on the palate are rich and complex and characterized by its full ripe raisony sweetness. Delicious after dinner with a slab of rich dark chocolate…mmmh, needless to say more!
The wine can also be enjoyed in summer served over crushed ice and if you buy a few extra bottles to put away you will find the additional maturation will further enhance the already wonderful flavours.
Expect to pay: R64.50