last day rutherglen 058

Stanton & Killeen Rutherglen Muscat: scaling the heights

Portuguese fortified wines have been my focus this last week (watch out for my top tips in next Monday’s post) but, in September, I caught up with Stanton & Killeen’s Wendy Killeen.  The fortified Muscat producer’s bottles may have been given a smart, contemporary makeover, but the contents (non-vintage blends) reveal impressive complexity borne of age.

Scaling the heights of Rutherglen’s fortified Muscat classification, the first two rungs of the quality ladder – Rutherglen and Classic Rutherglen Muscat  – are, as Killeen’s partner Nick Bulleid MW neatly put it, “over-specified.” They represent great bang for buck.  Here are my notes (prices by the half bottle):

Stanton & Killeen Rutherglen Muscat NV (Rutherglen, Victoria)

Moreish, raisiny, figgy fruit with pronounced orange peel lift.  A lovely citrus accent. For this entry level tier of the classification, it has nice ‘oomph’ – intensity and warmth – without foregoing balance.   Excellent balance in fact. £13.99 at Butlers Wine Cellar, £14.79 at Noel Young £14.95 at Oxford Wine Company

Stanton & Killeen Classic Rutherglen Muscat NV (Rutherglen, Victoria)

Going deeper, the Classic remains emphatically (dried) fruity, with rich Christmas cake/plum pudding, orange peel and ‘darker’ singed marmalade.  Plenty of mouth-feel here.  Plush and lingering.  Forget the mince pies or Christmas pud and have this instead!  £17.99 at Rude Wines, £20.99 at Noel Young

Stanton & Killeen Grand Rutherglen Muscat NV (Rutherglen, Victoria)


With more barrel age, the Grand has plenty of spice, especially on the attack, before the full weight of its fruit holds sway.  Great girth of cardamom and caraway-laced date and dried fig fruit with candied citrus.  Very plush; glycerol smoothness  eases the long, long road of a finish. Builds beautifully, and keeps going.  Un vin de contemplation. £39.99 at Noel Young


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