Tasting Moscatel Kingsman 1919: a unique century-old gem

by Oct 1, 2020Wine reviews0 comments

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Julien Miquel

Chief Wine Officer, Alti Wine Exchange

What an unbelievable opportunity it is to have a taste of Moscatel Kingsman Century Edition 1919. The latest Alti Wine Exchange IBO is a top-notch Moscatel de Setúbal produced by Portuguese estate José Maria da Fonseca that seems to only improve as you sip it. A unique gem, as you will see.

This century-old Moscatel features a very intense and very brown. You wouldn’t be wrong to think that it looks like a raisin juice because it was virtually made from very ripe, almost raisin-like grapes.

On top of this, it has been aged for 100 years in fine oak barrels since. But it does look shiny and clear, with no haziness whatsoever. How syrupy it looks when pouring is also impressive. Its appearance alone clearly suggests this is a sweet and very concentrated wine.

The smell also exudes with raisin-like aromas. Blond raisin, dried figs with a heap of spices, ginger and cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The aroma resembles somewhat one of a very spicy gingerbread.

Notwithstanding, the scents are surprisingly fresh and fruity. You will find some floral characters here, like essential oils of flowers, jasmine and elderflower. I love the sensation given by the delicate notes of orange blossoms.

You would think such a mature wine would have notes of orange liqueur perhaps more than aromas of flowers. But, no. It proudly and surprisingly showcases floral citrus notes, like orange blossoms.

Once you’ve enjoyed the many pleasing facets of this Moscatel’s nose, you will also find out that it is an even more outstanding wine to taste. Just the tiniest sip delivers such a totally different tasting experience.

Watch the wine review of Moscatel Kingsman 1919 in video

I must say that what strikes first, and most, is the dominant flavor of coffee. You’ll experience a massive explosion of coffee-like sensations, slightly smoky, but smooth and caramelly. The utter concentration brings it to explode with coffee flavors somehow even more so than an espresso would. Even more perhaps than a ristretto.

Being a fortified wine, of course it tastes a little bit sweet at the beginning which helps the overall smoothness. But, more than anything, it tastes savory and surprisingly dry even though it contains a lot of sugar.

The finish has a silky texture with extremely fine and dense tannins. You will taste the fig and raisin flavors. More importantly, the immense variety of spices is a highlight.

The sweet gingerbread spices hit your senses at an incredible level of concentration. The finish is delightfully drying with its silky quality. It is a little ashy too from spending so long in oak wood, adding a depth that that is so rare to encounter in wine.

This 1919 Moscatel certainly tastes unbelievable!

Invest in Moscatel Kingsman 1919 -
jose maria da fonseca moscatel kingsman 1919 cut.jpg

Invest in Moscatel Kingsman 1919


A totally different tasting experience really, and honestly like nothing I’ve ever experienced before despite having tasted quite a few old wines myself. This is something else, making you feel it is from another planet perhaps. But it isn’t…

This is simply from a totally different period.

The Kingsman brings you back to those times in the early 20th century, but this wine also certainly does as well. Although, it seems to have brought back only the good things from a century ago. The fruitiness, the concentration, the complexity from all these 5 decades waiting to be someday, eventually, enjoyed…

I was one of the incredibly lucky few to experience it. I can only hope you will be one of us soon.

Moscatel Kingsman: a Portuguese family tradition turns world-class




Follow Julien’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out also his award-winning blog, Social Vignerons.

And you can find his wine reviews in video here.

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