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Riesling

Riesling

One of the classic great white grapes, Riesling is an ancient German variety which ages with grace and has recently been redefined, largely owing to a new life in the New World.

In Germany, Riesling is made into world-famous white wines in a range of styles, from dry and flinty to very sweet and rich.

Believed by some to be the best white variety, it produces wine of relatively low alcohol levels, which does not compromise the range of aromatics and flavours.

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    • Origin
    • Germany
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Alsace
    Aromas of green apple fill the nose, with just a hint of honeyed sweetness. The palate is dry with vibrant citrus flavour followed by some tropical no... Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    Citrus blossom aromas evolve into spice and apricot in the mouth with a subtle steely finish.  Read More
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    • Origin
    • Australia
    A crisp and fruity example of a young wine that will mature into a softer and more mellow wine. The Australian winemakers have added weight to this Eu... Read More
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    • Origin
    • New Zealand
    Aromas of lemons and limes are also present on a very elegant palate that has some peach, apricot and hints of honey. The wines dry character brings b... Read More
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    • Origin
    • New Zealand
    Bursting with flavours of fresh lime, waxy lemon and honeysuckle.  Fine, balanced, refreshing. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    An exqiuisite example of the rare German sweet wine where grapes are picked whilst frozen on the vine. This lushiously sweet wine shows incredible lev... Read More
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    • Origin
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    A dryer style of riesling, with peachy aromas. Stone fruit and fresh apple in the mouth balanced with mineral flavours and a hint of petrol. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    Containing a proportion of Riesling, which adds delicacy and freshness to this medium-dry wine. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    Vibrant and fresh. Ripe, with full floral aromas and a dash of sweetness. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    From the Mosel valley in Germany, delicate floral aromas and generous fruit give this medium style wine a fresh and harmonious character. Read More
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    • Origin
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    A charmingly floral, medium-style wine from the glorious Mosel valley in the heart of this famous wine-producing country. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    Rich and flavoursome with complex aromas of lemon, apricot, honey and diesel. A wine which has undergone a sustained period of bottle aging yet still ... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    This is a delightfully light and airy white from one of the worlds oldest wine regions. Pale straw in colour this wine has a wonderfully apply charact... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Germany
    Elegant and classical Riesling scent, paired with aromas and tropical fruits. Green apples and citrus, pineapple and melon. Excellent balance of sweet... Read More
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    • Origin
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    A dryer style of riesling, with peachy aromas. Stone fruit and fresh apple in the mouth balanced with mineral flavours and a hint of petrol. Looks stu... Read More
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Old World and New World

The most famous German Riesling vineyards lie along the Rhine river, where solar rays are reflected up the slate-covered hills and onto vineyards. The slate in the soil also help by storing heat, raising the temperature in an otherwise very cool area, thereby making for terrific growing conditions.

In the New World, Riesling suffered from attempts to make German-style sweet wines. Some years ago, a focus on dry yet refreshing production with floral aromatics led to a renaissance. Unfortunately for this grape and its producers, the old image of over-produced and dull has made it a rather unpopular variety amongst the general public. Therefore, until a consumer renaissance elicitis the advent of Riesling again, it will be prevalent only within the wine industry.

Key Regions

Alsace (France), Germany (Rhine and Mosel), Canada, New Zealand, and Australia (Clare Valley).

Styles and Flavours

In the New World, Riesling is commonly made dry with marvellous perfumed wines, some with blossom, citrus, apricot, lavender, lemon, peach and linden flower aromas. The palate is often clean with a fresh acidity. With age, aromas of kerosene, honey, clove and even toast develop over a more full and weighty palate.

Sweetness is common in Germany, but the labelling is sometimes complicated. While the legal labelling system is narrow, the following terms are deployed on labels.

Trocken (dry) can be added to any label to mark that the wine has been made into a dry style by fermenting all grape sugar into alcohol, which however elicits a very strongly alcoholic wine.

Kabinett (early harvest) is often of low sweetness.

Spaetlese (late harvest) often has a medium level of residual sugar.

With Auslese (select harvest), the fruit is usually riper than Spaetlese and so a sweeter wine results.

Beerenauslese (selected harvest of berries) enjoys a higher prestige than Auslese, and is picked later. The grape bunches are affected by a Botrytis fungus which removes water and increases natural sugar. The berries must be hand picked and make sweet, concentrated wine for long ageing.

The highest level and intensely sweet wines result from Trockenbeerenauslesen. The berries have been shrivelled by Botrytis and may look like raisins. The very high sugar and very low juice from the berry makes very little wine and so the wine is very expensive and rare. It is considered a dessert wine.

Eiswein (ice-wine) is also made using Riesling. The process requires a natural freezing of the grapes while still on the vine; the frozen water in the juice makes for a richly concentrated wine. As bunches are typically ready for picking in late summer, waiting for freezing weather can cause problems and loss of vintage. It is important that no Botrytis affects the grapes for clean Eiswein to be made.

Sugar added to grape must (crushed grape juice and skin) to increase sweetness or alcohol level makes Qualitatswein. This is not a technical level to identify sweetness, but rather an identification of adherence to a classification of wine making, and is a term commonly applied to wine from Piesporter.

All Riesling is vinified without oak.

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