Is 2013 the year that Muscat really comes out of the shadows?

Today I came across an interesting quote on Winealley from Philippe Dejean:
« in Sauternes, the 2012 vintage is pleasant to drink, isn’t it what consumers want? » (Jan 22, 2013)
In Sauternes, the 2012 vintage has currently been marked by major announcements: prestigious chateaux d’Yquem and Rieussec will not produce their top wines, because of an « insufficient quality. » Owner of Chateau Rabaud-Promis (premier cru classé Sauternes) and president of Sweet Bordeaux Union, Philippe Dejean believes that « 1992 and 1993 were catastrophic years. In comparison, 2012 is not so bad. The last 10 years, we enjoyed real Indian summers, producing fine vintages. It became soon evident that this was not taking this way in 2012. »

« It was a winemaker year, one needed to feel from the beginning that it would not be a great vintage. A few ones tried to produce a concentrated wine, but leaving too long the grapes under raindrops was far too risky. 2012 Sauternes wines will definitely not be concentrated. But we also have to ask to ourselves what our customers are looking for now. Do they seek a relic to keep sealed in a museum or a wine fresh and easy to drink?”

Exactly our thoughts!
We have the utmost respect for these great houses, who have chosen to preserve their ethos of quality over market concerns.
Our philosophy at Domaine de la Rencontre has always been to produce wines that are light, refreshing and easy to drink – and they have been very well received, even by people who do not normally like sweet wines – and had perhaps never tasted a good dry muscat. Our tastings in the UK and Belgium reinforce our experiences in France. Our clients, young professionals all the way through to experienced amateurs, are surprised at the evolution of “Grandmère’s aperitif”. philosophe created a very successful bridge between our crisp, fruity dry muscat – rencontre – and our medal winning VDN’s l’hédoniste and éclat.
2012 is looking to be a very good year for our entire range of muscat wines at Mireval. Of course, the wines are not completely finished yet, but we have high hopes and a very nice concentration in our “vin de sagesse” – the last of the harvests – which is now maturing in the barrels. “The laboratory”, as we call our little winery, has maybe a few more secrets to unveil soon…

Since rappers got in on the Muscat act, interest has increased across the pond – the producers in California are steadily increasing their plantings of muscat to satisfy what could be the next trend after rosé. So, are we going to sit and watch other people fill this gap, or grasp the challenge and show people what we can do? Let’s go and rock the boat!