An Australian wine, especially these days, doesn’t receive a 98 point score from the Wine Spectator very often, so I thought I would share the news that the Chambers Muscat Rutherglen Rosewood Vineyards Rare NV was the only wine awarded 98 points in the latest issue of the Wine Spectator’s Insider Newsletter (Volume 8, no. 11 14 March 2012)

Reviewed by the Wine Spectator’s Editor at Large Harvey Steiman, here’s what he had to  say:

“Exuberantly spicy, with clove, cinnamon and cardamom accents weaving through the prune and tobacco aromatics. Very sweet but not at all cloying, as earthy, tarry notes give way to rich brown sugar and brandy flavors on the finish. Drink now.”

Rutherglen has a long established record for making the finest examples of muscat in Australia, if not the world.

The “Rare” designation is reserved for exceptional material dating over 100+ years of age. They are renowned for their aromatic complexity and full, deep flavours and rich texture.

The tiny family-owned Chambers Rosewood Winery has collected a string of awards since it was first established in 1858. The wine is now made by sixth generation family member Stephen Chambers, who took over the reins from his famous father Bill.

Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate calls this fortified “a true Australian treasure.” Through the extended solera aging process (fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years), the wine is relatively stable to changes and ready to drink now. Now bottled under screwcap, it can also be cellared.

For the quality, the price tag of $250 for a 375 ml bottle, as still listed on the Chambers website, is very reasonable if still available.

Merrill Witt, EditorRead the rest