WINE SCHOOL 11 - 17 December 2017

REGION: Germany > Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

The banks of the Mosel are home to some of the world's most steeply sloping vineyards which produce some of Germany's, and the world's, finest wines. The steep slopes increase grapes' exposure to the sun in this cool northerly region and many sites benefit from additional solar reflection from the river to ripen grapes. Riesling is the undisputed superstar here and the wines can reach an apogee of delicacy, finesse and refreshment that is unsurpassed.

Key white grapes: Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Elbling

GRAPE: Riesling

Riesling is a bit of an oddball grape. Naturally low in sugars it makes wines that are low in alcohol but high in impact. Its traditional home is cool northern Europe but it also makes some outstanding wines in baking hot southern hemisphere sites.

Riesling wines can be floral, fruity, nutty or minerally but are nearly always high in acidity. A distinctive petrol/kerosene note can be present although many winemakers now seek to avoid this as it is assumed to be a turn off for many wine drinkers. The flavour profile and acidity levels mean that many Rieslings age and improve for 30, 40 or 50 years, decades longer than most other white wines.

Riesling is an important grape in Germany (particularly the Mosel) and Alsace. It is often used to make luscious late harvest noble rot wines. In Austria and Canada frozen Riesling grapes are used to make sweet Eiswein/Icewine. Some very good and inexpensive Riesling is made in South Australia.


Next week in WINE SCHOOL: Sauternes (France) & Sémillon

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