It's hard to imagine that just 25 years ago the most popular wine in the UK was from Germany. Every wine merchant, off licence and supermarket stocked a good range of wine from the areas of Germany and it accounted for almost 40% of wine drunk in Britain. Flooding the market with cheap wine did their reputation no good, and when the new world began exporting the sales plummeted.
It's a sad story, but for those who appreciate the riesling grape, Germany still produces the biggest range of superb wines from light everyday wines through to the most concentrated nectar imaginable.
The main known producing areas are the Rhine Valley and the Mosel valley, with their various tributaries. Further south are the areas of Baden and Franken. The riesling grape is the king in all areas and it is always stated on the bottle with (in most cases) the name of the town and vineyard -such as Piesporter Michelsberg or Rudesheimer Rosengarten.
It also states the quality of the wine, from basic wine Qba, to spatlese that's picked two weeks later, through to auslese harvested even later when grapes are very ripe, to beerenauslese from selected individual grapes for ripeness. What you get is the amazing development of the character of the riesling grape from the fresh dry fruity style to the liqueur style.
The balance of fruit and mineral character is what riesling is all about. If you know the Mosel valley the change of 'terroir' is quite dramatic from area to area. The aspect of the sun and the steepness of the vineyards, the meanness of the soil and the geology of the areas all contributes to the wonderful variations that can be found. Take a glass of Whelener Sonnenuhr Spatlese from Von Prum and you have the most delicious concentrated fruit and minerality imaginable.
It's time to look again at the great wines from riesling and its home in Germany is where to look. Fortunately the top wine merchants have never forgotten these great wines and Tanners of Shrewsbury and Terry Platt wines will be promoting these in Riesling Week coming up shortly.
BEST BUYS Tanners Wine Merchants 01743 234455 Terry Platt Wines 01492 874009 Riesling Week July 23-31
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Jul 16, 2011|
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