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(Muscat à petits grains). A white variety of ancient origin, probably coming from the Near East. Wines were already being made with this grape in the Classical Era.
There are different types of Moscatel (Muscat), some being grown as table grapes, however the type cultivated in Navarre appears similar to the one found in the French Languedoc region, called Muscat de Frontignan. Compared to other types, its basic difference lies in its small sized grape berries. Although this variety has been present in Navarre since times of old, it underwent a revival in the eighties, thanks to studies promoted by the Navarre Viticulture and Oenology Station (EVENA). At present this variety accounts for almost 1 % of the total D.O. surface area and almost 20% of the white varieties grown, being present in most zones although predominantly in the Ribera Baja.
The Moscatel grape is basically used to make monovarietal sweet or semi-sweet wines. Some of these are considered to be liqueur wines as they are obtained by mixing wines and / or musts with alcohol in order to maintain the predominant sweet flavour. These wines stand out for their distinctive aromatic properties, with very characteristic aromas evoking flowers and fruits. This variety is also recently being used for making dry wines in general, in combination with other grapes such as Chardonnay or Viura.