Muscadelle is a white wine grape variety. It has a simple aroma of grape juice and raisins like grapes of the Muscat family of grapes, but it is unrelated.
DNA analysis has indicated that Muscadelle is a cross between Gouais blanc and an unidentified grape variety.
In France, it is a minor constituent in the dry and sweet wines of Bordeaux, such as Sauternes. It rarely makes up more than 10% of the blend, which is dominated bay Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Throughout the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century, plantings of the grape were falling. Some sweet wines from Monbazillac, on the other hand, can have a higher proportion of Muscadelle.
In Australia, the grape is used to make a fortified wine, now known as Topaque (formerly Tokay). Those made in the Rutherglen region generally receive considerable aging in hot cellars, leading to a maderised and oxidative character. A few other Australian wine regions, including the Barossa Valley, make similar wines. A few other Australian wineries use Muscadelle to make table wines in a similar way to French wineries. In accordance with an agreement reached with the EU, Australian producers have until June 2020 to phase out their use of the term Tokay, but many have already begun the process, choosing instead the name Topaque to represent this style.
The name, Tokay, convinced some Australian producers that the grape was Pinot gris (which used to be called Tokay by producers in Alsace). Others thought the grape might have been Hárslevelű, one of the components of the famous Hungarian sweet wine Tokaji. However, it has been proven that Australian Tokay is Muscadelle.
Cottony white buds, fluffy bronze young leaves. Three-lobed adult leaves. U-shaped petiole sinus. Pink petiole point. Large loose clusters. Berries turning brown when ripe.
This early variety is sensitive to spring frosts and to gray rot in rich soils. Slightly musky and greatly attracts bees. It is also characterized by excessive yields.
Muscadelle is rarely used on its own, but wines that include the grape in their blends can tend to be moderately acidic, fruity, and aromatic with a grape-like, floral aroma similar to muscat.
Production area en 1994: 2 200 ha (5 436 acres)