Throwback Thursday IV
Rather than planting the seeds of grapes to create a new vineyard, vine cuttings are chosen from existing vines. This ensures that the new vineyard will contain exact clones of the mother vine, i.e. Pinot Noir will be Pinot Noir, Chardonnay will be Chardonnay, etc. If a grape seed is planted, you may get the vine that you intended to plant or, depending on which vines wind-pollinated which other vines, you may get something completely new.
Vines may also be purposely cross-pollinated to harness particular traits from parent vines to create a new vine that combines the qualities of both. Such is the case of Müller-Thurgau, a grape whose reputation is perhaps based more on the difficulty of pronouncing its name rather than any wine made from it.
Müller did not exist in nature prior to the late 19th century. Named for its creator, Dr. Hermann Müller of the Canton of Thurgau, Switzerland, it can trace its lineage to Riesling, the noble grape of Germany, and Madeleine Royale, known for ripening extremely early and producing high yields. Overall, Müller maintains some of the aromatic qualities of Riesling and it does ripen much earlier (it's usually one of the first grapes we harvest at Montinore) and produce higher yields, but it's never really been seen as anything to age for an extended period. However, when the wine has been created with all the potential for proper aging, what happens after a few years?
The 1999 Late Harvest Müller-Thurgau: made in the ice wine style (the juice was partially frozen after harvest to concentrate the sugar and flavor), pushing the sugar content into dessert wine territory. Honey and apple juice dominate the nose on this one, followed by a faint wisp of petroleum (owing to its Riesling parentage). The acidity is very mellow, with layered flavors of apricot compote, lemon peel, and red apple skin. A good amount of sweetness lingers on the finish.
Despite being 15 years old, this Müller still has lots of life left in it. And good news for all: we're immediately re-releasing a few cases of it so you can try an aged Müller for yourself. If you're a fan of the Frolic dessert wine (which has been sold out for quite some time), you'll want to head to the tasting room for a bottle of this.