We’re proud to see Kurtatsch Ushas, a limited edition rosé dessert wine from our collection, getting the recognition it deserves in The Standard. The newspaper recently conducted a taste test to find the best dessert wine for after dinner sipping, and this captivating Italian dessert wine made the cut.
So, how did it manage to charm the reviewers?
Kurtatsch Ushas Moscato Rosa Passito: The Standard’s verdict
Lifestyle writer Nicky Rampley-Clarke calls out this limited edition rosé dessert wine’s “flavours of strawberry jam, pomegranate and mulled wine together with aromas of orange marmalade and strawberry preserve.” He then goes on to talk about the unique way that this wine is created: “it’s made from extremely dry grapes that are credited for its intense concentration and delicious sweetness.”
It is indeed a complex wine, and we love hearing about all the different flavours people detect in each sip. For example, when we tried it, we got medjool dates, blood orange, violet flower and hibiscus as well as the preserved fruit and aromatic spices noted by Rampley-Clarke. Certainly a great wine for kicking off those after-dinner conversations!
It’s all in the grapes: why Kurtatsch Ushas Moscato Rosa Passito is limited edition
Obviously the intense flavours and unique production method – which we’ll get to in a minute – are part of why this wine is so special. But there’s another reason, and that’s the grape that’s used. Moscato Rosa, or Rosenmuskateller as it’s known in Alto Adige, is very rare. In fact, there are only ten hectares planted in the whole of Alto Adige.
Rosenmuskateller is difficult to grow. Unlike other vines, all of its flowers are female so it can’t self-pollinate. As a result, it requires a lot of tender care and manual labour. Even then, the vines only form a tiny amount of berries – and harvests are tiny. This means the resulting wine is limited edition. It’s hard to come by, even in Italy.
So, why bother? Well, take one sip of this dessert wine and you’ll realise every grape is well worth the effort. Each black Moscato grape positively bursts with flavours of strawberries and rose petals.
Kurtatsch Ushas Moscato Rosa Passito: made from dry grapes for depth of flavour
Now, let’s talk about the wine-making process – another reason this dessert wine is one of the best for after-dinner sipping. Each grape is dried out until it almost becomes a raisin. As the water in the grapes evaporates, it leaves behind flavour, acidity and sweetness.
This is why the winemakers at Kurtatsch make the choice not to harvest their rare Rosenmuskateller grapes at the end of September, as usual, but leave them on the vines to dry under the Alpine sun until November.
Once they’re plucked, they’re then left to dry inside the winery for yet another month. By the time they’ve finished drying, they’re only a third of the size they were in September. This is another reason the wine is so rare – you get far less liquid out of a raisin than a grape.
Try Kurtatsch Ushas Moscato Rosa Passito and other sweet Italian wines at Independent Wine
If you’re into dessert wine, Italy has lots of incredible bottles – in fact, it has the world’s largest variety of sweet wines. And they’re often criminally under-looked (and wonderfully underpriced, as a result).
Delicious, rare Kurtatsch Ushas Moscato Rosa Passito is just one of them. Other wines to try include Tuscan Vin Santo (which is usually sipped with biscotti), delightfully rich Recioto della Valpolicella and tropical-tasting Moscato di Sardegna from the rugged island of Sardinia.