The world over, Riesling wine is one of the most collectible white wines amongst the top connoisseurs. The wine from German heritage, which is seldom oaked, exhibits intense aromas that rise from the glass, often of orchard fruits (apricot and peach), apple, pear, pineapple, honeycomb, floral notes, lemon and lime and probably the most notable ones of all that come from aged wines, those aromas of petrol or flint.
A grape that has stood the test of time, mentioned in Hieronymus Bock’s graphic book ‘Herbal’ in 1546, though this wasn’t Rieslings first mention or appearance in written literature. Nearly 100 years prior it was recorded in various estate books under the German name Rießlingen. Hailing from the Rhine River region in German/Alsace, Riesling parentage as confirmed with DNA fingerprinting by Fredinand Regner, has revealed that the one parent of the Riesling grape was indeed Gouais blanc. A varietal though while rare today was widely grown by both the Germans and French peasants during the Middle Ages. This esoteric French grape varietal is the grandmother of some other well-known wines, such as Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and Chenin Blanc. Riesling’s other parent has been noted to be a cross between one of the oldest European grape varietals Traminer (presumed to have been cultivated by the Romans as ‘Vitis aminera’) and a wild vine.
Sweet or Dry Riesling
Customarily most Riesling wines are on the sweeter side, which balances the wine’s high acidity. However, there is a fair amount of dry Rieslings on the market for though who prefer the a leaner-tasting wine. If looking for a dry Riesling wines look for the word “Trocken” on the label. Weingut am Kaiserbaum Rosenbühl Riesling Trocken 2018 perfectly embraces the Pfalz style - dry but not at all austere with an appealing roundness and fruit core.
Now if a sweet Riesling is more to your fancy look for the words Kabinett or Spätlese. We recommend you try Weingut Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Spätlese 2015. It is sweet and juicy but has notable acidity and minerality which adds incredible lift and poise, creating a wine that carries its fruit to its long finish beautifully. Expressive with notes of pineapple, lime and elderflower, its palate is lacy but dense and layered.
Why Riesling is loved the world over by sommeliers
Riesling wine is remarkably versatile due to the fact it can be lightweight and delicate yet bursting with aromas and flavour, it is an incredibly food friendly wine and has the ability to age. For new wine drinkers Riesling is a very approachable wine because of its fresh, crisp profile.
Riesling has now become an international grape, though under vine the world over there are only about 89000 acres in total of the grape being cultivated. Germany is still the main cultivator of Riesling, with 56000 acres under vine, other note worth countries who grow this wonderful grape include: Australia, USA, France, Austria, and New Zealand.
In the world of wine everything happens for a ‘Riesling’, so what will your ‘Riesling’ be?