Muscadelle Wine Profile

Muscadelle is often confused with Muscat because of the similarity of both name and of aromatics, but genetic testing has proven that the two are not related. No matter; as one of the main three grapes in Bordeaux Blanc, Muscadelle has more than enough work cut out for itself.

Although usually the smallest portion of Bordeaux Blanc blends, Muscadelle provides those gorgeous aromas that we all love so much. Sauternes just wouldn’t be Sauternes without it!

Muscadelle Tasting Notes

It’s very seldom bottled on its own so tasting profiles are based on the blends in which it can be found. Bordeaux Blancs exhibit bright grapefruit, sweet lime, honeysuckle, and pears. Some lean in a richer direction with a more honeyed note. Sauternes and other dessert wines made with Muscadelle have rich apricot, honeysuckle, candied ginger and mango notes.

Food Pairing Muscadelle

Pairings for Muscadelle blends depend on whether the wine is dry or sweet. Dry Bordeaux blanc blends call for seafood, poultry, or even roasted pork dishes. It’s incredibly versatile and can work a huge range of dishes as long as the food isn’t overly spicy or heavily seasoned. Dessert wines made with Muscadelle are traditionally paired with foie gras or other pâtés, bleu cheese, crème brûlée, and soft cheeses. One secret yet incredible pairing is sushi with a sweet Muscadelle. Just trust us.

Wine Growing Regions for Muscadelle

France is the undisputed home of Muscadelle and it is best known in Bordeaux. Grown throughout the general Bordeaux AOC, it can be found in standard Bordeaux blanc blends. More specified regions include Sauternes and Barsac. Just to the south, it’s also vinified in Bergerac for Monbazillac wines.

Despite being best known out of Bordeaux, Australia actually produces more Muscadelle than anywhere else. Victoria, Rutherglen, and Glenrowan produce rich dessert wines that are highly valued. It had historically been known as Tokay in Australia but has since been changed to Topaque to avoid confusion with the Hungarian dessert wine Tokaji. 

In the United States, Muscadelle can be found in both California and Washington states, though production is admittedly quite small.

Check out some of these Muscadelles from around the world:

  • Chateau Rieussec Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
  • Chateau Coutet Barsace, Bordeaux, France
  • Chateau Septy Monbazillac, South West, France
  • Buty Sémillon, Sauvignon & Muscadelle, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • Nichelini Old Vine Muscadelle, Napa Valley, California
  • Chambers Rosewood Grand Muscadelle, Rutherglen, Australia
  • Campbells Topaque, Rutherglen, Australia

Learn About These Other Wine Grape Varieties

Chardonnay
Chenin Blanc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Grenache
Nebbiolo
Petit Verdot
Riesling

Written By Jamie Metzgar

Jamie Elizabeth Metzgar began her career in wine by pouring in a tasting room on the East End of Long Island, NY. After moving to New York City, she landed a position at Chambers Street Wines where she was encouraged to pursue wine education at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She earned Level III certification there and has since earned California Wine Appellation Specialist and Certified Specialist of Wine certifications as well. After way too many moves, she has recently landed in Northern California where she is compiling an unofficial roster of dog-friendly tasting rooms.


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