OK, I admit it: I'm a sucker for Muscat. I love every type of wine that grapes from the Muscat family can make, from light, fizzy Italian Moscato d'Asti to the extra-rich, long-aged fortified Muscats of Australia. I even have liked some dry versions of Muscat, especially those from Alsace. But I have never had a Muscat quite as refined and elegant as the Jorge Ordoñez & Co. Moscatel Sierra de Málaga Botani Seco 2007 from Spain.
We were dining at RN74, the new wine bar and restaurant in San Francisco from chef Michael Mina and his wine director Rajat Parr, and had ordered some small plates. So I asked Raj to bring "tastes" of several selections from the list of 50 wines by the glass. The Moscatel made a sensational match with a plate of hamachi sashimi, graced with a squirt of lime, slices of green apple and pumpkin seeds.
The Muscat of Alexandria grapes used for this wine usually make heavy, sweet wines such as Málaga or the rich Southern Italian dessert wines from the island of Pantelleria. But this dry version displayed delicacy, showing lovely floral aromas reminiscent of citrus blossoms and jasmine, and in the mouth a silky texture, light body and minerally flavors to go with green pear fruit. That texture and those flavors fit perfectly with the fish, too. Non-blind, 90 points for the elegance. It was $4.50 for the 3-ounce pour and sells for $20 at retail.
WineSpectator.com members: Get the original blind-tasting review for Jorge Ordoñez & Co. Moscatel Sierras de Málaga Botani Seco 2007 (87, $23).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Spanish whites.