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Moscatel
de Setúbal

 
 

   
 
Setúbal DO
(includes the traditional Moscatel de Setúbal and Moscatel Roxo)
 
The Setúbal Peninsula is a pioneering region in the production of well-made wines, as is the case of the fortified wine, Moscatel de Setúbal. Though the region has only been demarcated for the production of Moscatel since 1907, the production of the wine in this area dates far back before then. In September of 1875, Ferreira Lapa, while concluding his study of the Estremadura region, at his 6th Conference of Wines, mentions "the notable importance of Setúbal wine, the privileged Moscatel region, well known in Portugal and with a reputation in Europe, where so few names exist".

The prestige of this wine is not random, if its unique quality is taken into account, as well as its genuineness amongst like wines, its softness and perfume, its longevity and subtlety and its elegance and modernity of its components.
 
The wines under the Setúbal DO denomination are produced in a demarcated geographic region within the municipalities of Setúbal, Palmela, Montijo and the parish of Castelo in the municipality of Sesimbra.

There are two types of fortified wines with Denomination of Origin of Setúbal (Setúbal DO) designation: the production with white varietals, where the Moscatel de Setúbal grape is required in at least 67% or more of the blend, and the production with red varietals where at least 67% or more of the Moscatel Roxo (Purple Moscatel) grape is required as well in the blend. The traditional labels, «Moscatel de Setúbal», «Moscatel Roxo» or «Roxo» can only be used when these grape varieties contribute to at least 85% of the blend.
Setúbal DO, white, or Moscatel de Setúbal

This fortified wine is characterized by its especially peculiar and unmistakable aroma and flavor qualities, resulting from the soil and climate conditions and the grape varietals used, in particular the Moscatel de Setúbal, which is considered to be the most aromatic varietal in the world. With a golden color that ranges from light topaz to amber, the young Moscatel wines exhibit an exotic floral aroma reminiscent of orange and linden blossom as well as rose with touches of honey, citrus, lichee, pear and dates in the flavor. The aged Moscatels tend to have a more subtle and complex aromas and flavors of dried fruits and nuts like hazelnut, almond and walnut.

The Moscatel de Setúbal is a fortified wine of extraordinary quality that has been well known for many years. In 1867, João Inácio Ferreira da Lapa, a known vitiviniculture specialist wrote in his publication «Memória sobre os processos de Vinificação» ("Memory of the Wine-making processes") that "In Azeitão, two leagues away from Setúbal, there is the famous land from which our best Moscatels come from, belonging to the honorable José Maria da Fonseca, a winemaker of great knowledge and aptitude, who has been able to drive this specialization to such an extent, it can be said that he does not have any rival, neither in Portugal nor outside of the country."

In 1855, at the Universal Exposition of Paris, José Maria da Fonseca's Moscatel de Setúbal was distinguished with a gold medal.


Setúbal DO, red, Moscatel Roxo or "Roxo"


This fortified wine possesses an aroma that is drier and more complex than the Moscatel de Setúbal, but no lesser in richness. In taste it exceeds the expectations created by the the aroma, exhibiting a fine palate which protrudes spices, "ginja" cherry and fig jam flavors. Ferreira da Lapa refers to it as the "Quinta Essencia dos Moscateis (the Fifth Essence of Moscatels). The Count of Villa Maior (1875) refers to this nectar like this, "Moscatel Roxos, there is a small variety with a good production that provides the excellent Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal."

+ Legislation Setúbal DO  

+ Website Moscatel de Setúbal