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Obscure Wine Grapes: Huxelrebe

Obscure Wine Grapes: Huxelrebe
Photo by Robb Walsh

Instead of combining grape juices to make a blend, German viticulturalist Georg Scheu crossed two popular varietals to make a new grape. Huxelrebe is a cross between sweet and aromatic Muscat and the austere Swiss wine grape, Chasselas. Invented in 1927, Huxelrebe was named after the late viticulturalist Fritz Huxel, who won a variety of prizes for his Huxelrebe wines.

Thanks to its hearty Chasselas genes, the grape is fast-maturing and produces Auslese (late-harvest) sweet wines even in years when other grapes cannot. And due to its Muscat heritage, Huxelrebe has an intense flowery aroma and rhubarb-like tartness. It is often vinified as a dessert wine or sweet aperitif. But even the Kabinet I sampled had plenty of residual sugar, which makes it an excellent wine to drink with green chile dishes. I got this bottle on sale at Central Market. I think it was $12.


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