Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Italian for muscat and the name of a sweetish varietal wine style for which there was a fashion in certain quarters towards the end of the first decade of this century (see asti for details), which resulted in an increase in plantings of Muscat even in California. The Italian vine census of 2010 identifies seven different Moscatos. Moscato Bianco, sometimes called Moscato di Canelli is the finest Muscat grape variety muscat blanc à petits grains and is that most commonly encountered in Italy, with total plantings of 11,500 ha/28,471 acres, making it one of the country’s most planted white wine grapes, cited in almost 20 docs. This is the Moscato responsible for all the light usually sweet and sparkling wines of Asti and moscato d’asti. Moscato Rosa del Trentino (found in trentino and alto adige, often called Rosenmuskateller) is a very much rarer red-skinned grape which seems to exist in three different incarnations, of which a mutation of Moscato Bianco is only one. The golden-berried Moscato Giallo (Goldmuskateller) is more widely planted, on 1,127 ha/2,785 acres, and has a parent-offspring relationship with Moscato Bianco. Moscato di Terracina is a recently revived aromatic white grown on 125 ha/309 acres of Lazio. Moscato di Scanzo is a dark-berried speciality of Bergamo which makes small quantities of decadently aromatic, sweet passito reds. Moscato Nero di Acqui is a synonym for muscat of hamburg, as is muscat ottonel, though neither is much grown in Italy.