It's July and once again we're joining in with Wines of Germany's 31 Days of German Riesling campaign. This is one of our favourite grape varieties so we are always happy to tell you more about it.
Riesling (pronounced reece-ling) is used to make some of the finest white wines on the planet. It is a grape variety that is grown in all of Germany’s winemaking regions and it comes in a variety of different styles.
Riesling is famous for its zippy acidity, which makes it wonderfully fresh, elegant and an excellent partner for food. It also helps the wine to age very well. Riesling produces elegant wines with character. They can be distinctive in their aromas and flavours, often with zingy lime and lemon notes and riper flavours of peaches, or when young, apples. As they age, they can start to develop an aroma which is similar to petrol - a character that can be divisive in its appeal but may also be an indicator of quality, as it is found in greater concentration in older, higher quality wines.
Isn't Riesling sweet?
Some of it yes, but there is a lot of variety and the range that we offer is on the drier side. Classic Riesling is medium-dry. Many people's first encounter with it may have been through brands like Blue Nun, a medium-dry wine from the Rheinhessen which was a decent, straightforward wine. Tastes change and drinkers began to move on drier styles and Blue Nun was considered unfashionable, which has had a lasting effect on people's perception of the grape.
The traditional German classifcation for quality wine are Qualitätswein and Pradikatswein. The Pradikatswein system is used to denote the ripeness of the grapes when picked. This can be very useful, but initially a little confusing, with a lot of special lingo decipher. If you don't know your Kabinett from your Spätlese, fear not. The featured wines below are mostly labelled under the simpler Qualitätswein standard in dry or off-dry styles. One key word to look out for is 'trocken' which means dry.
Riesling is also very food-friendly. It's often our go-to suggestion for customers looking for a wine to go with those meals that can be tricky to pair with. Think curries, spice, south east Asian flavours. Dry Riesling is also smashing with light fish dishes too (smoked salmon is a personal fav).
Our Featured Rieslings:
A dry Riesling with citrus and stone fruit aromas, with nuances of melons and herbs. Silky, lively with nice acidity and a slatey minerality. Really great quality stuff. Look beyond the unassuming label - you're in for a treat.
Try this one with pork belly with apple sauce.
Deep Roots, Rheinhessen Riesling Trocken 2021 - Rheinhessen
A superb dry Riesling that delivers aromas of fresh green apple and pear. A racy acidity that makes your mouth water and keeps you wanting more. This wine is a little fruitier than the Hanewald-Schwerdt and makes a great aperitif or freshener between courses, but can be equally enjoyed on a hot summers day with a fresh crab salad.
This is a nice introduction to the Riesling of the Mosel in a off-dry (Feinherb) style. Generations' Riesling was harvested from the family's steeply sloping vineyard in Lieser. Fresh hay aromas mingle with lemon citrus, pear and melon fruit . The sweetness and high acidity are well balanced, with a dry finish. On the palate, the wine is tangy, with subtle fruits and a hint of minerality.
This would be delicious with a slightly spicy thai stir-fry.
A deliciously juicy and ripe off-dry Riesling from Nahe, and area that sits between Mosel an the Rheingau. This has a Spatlese level of richness The aroma is subtle, with a little ripe lemon, peach and apple fruit and it comes alive on the palate with a rounded body and vibrant lime acidity balancing the gentle honeyed fruit sweetness. It's finish has good length and delivers some joyous mango and nectarine notes along with more apple, peach and lemon fruit and a touch of minerality. Very refreshing stuff.
The light sweetness makes this work well with aromatic spicy food like a prawn laksa.
This stunning wine is also off-dry. It has a real balance between fine herby lemon and apricot fruit, refreshing acidity, subtle sweetness and salty minerality. A formidable drinking wine with an alcohol content of well below 10%, to quote the winemaker Phillipp Kettern, "one can easily sometimes a drink a whole bottle."
The family own holdings in many small parcels around Piesport, on both sides of the river. The best come from the 'Grand Cru' vineyards of the Goldtröpfchen, situated perfectly on the South-facing and extremely steep slopes on the bend of the Mosel river.
These sites allow perfect ripeness of Phillipp's Riesling grapes. He balances the classic, austere acidity of this variety with delightful fruit character and, of course, a little sweetness.
If this has whetted your appetite and made you thirsty, you can pick up a trio of German Riesling at a nice discounted price here.