One of the finest aspects of Riesling wines

Riesling is an expressive variety, which ideally conveys not only the terroir, but also the aroma and flavor of the grapes. The aromatic potential hidden in these little Riesling grapes is impressive. It can ultimately develop into an astounding fruitiness in the wine.

Apple, lemon, apricot, peach, blossom and mango are only the most obvious and most easily recognizable fruit aromas which Riesling has to offer. The balanced relationship and interplay of these aromas, combined with delicate acidity and low alcohol content, characterize the flavor of these many-layered, fruity Rieslings.

They never come across as heavy and filling, they are, rather, tender, playful, delicately fruity and literally seduce you into taking another sip. When Riesling exhibits such a boundless diversity in its fruit structure, then the aromas - embedded in a fine, discreet residual sweetness - taste juicy and delicate, and they give the wine fullness and depth.

It is like a feisty bite into a ripe but fresh fruit, whose juice stoutly, yet with a tangy character, fills the palate with a light, pleasant sweetness. Fruity, multifaceted Rieslings are light in body and alcohol, but possess an overpowering fullness of aromatic and mineral substances.

At best, they are like an explosion of flavors and combine concentrated delicately fruity, wonderfully expressed fruit aromas with a subtle, shining acidity and the mineral components of the slaty soil. They virtually dance across the tongue and present a clear freshness to the palate.

In Germany, this conservative Riesling style has survived all trends and fashions from the industrially produced brand wines and the sweet, cloying, cheap Spätlese wines, to the cult of dry wines with excessive acidity, and today it forms one of the foundations of the Riesling renaissance all around the world.

Winemakers such as Joh. Jos. Prüm, Wilhelm Haag, Ernst Loosen and Reinhold Haart in the Mosel region, Egon Müller on the Saar, Maximin Grünhaus on the Ruwer and Helmut Dönnhoff from the Nahe have characterized this wine type with their delicately fruity, nuance-rich Spätlese wines and have setstandards.

Rieslings with little alcohol, which in spite of their tender structure exhibit the delicate elegance and interplay of fruit-sweetness and acidity which make Riesling so immensely fascinating. Above all, Mosel and Saar Rieslings represent the category ´fruity diversity´, since the conditions for growth are ideal here.

However, also along the Nahe, in some sites of the Mittelrhein and in the Rheingau such wines can emerge in ideal years and in appropriate soils. The river valleys protect against cool winds, and the slopes, which are mainly facing south, are superbly suited for optimum reception of sunlight.

The long ripening period (into November) with an appropriate ripening period is a requirement to ensure that such a delicate yet nevertheless flavor-explosive Riesling with low alcohol content, of 7 to 10% vol., can emerge.

Such a diverse development of fruit with a finely subtle sweetness, delicate acidity and such low alcohol conent is unique in the world.

Text: From the book "Riesling". By courtesy of HALLWAG-Verlag.
Text: © HALLWAG-VERLAG

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