Grape of the month
The Riesling grape has its heritage in Germany and Alsace in France with historical roots that can be traced all the way back to the 14th Century. The wines from Alsace are traditionally drier then the German counterpart, but recent trends in the market has started to change this.They have both a tremendous acidity and freshness to them, making many of them very age worthy.
After several world wars the German wine industry was at its knees, and they started to mass produce cheap sweet wines from the Rivaner grape to get it up and running again. Sweet cheap wines like Black Tower and Liebfraumilch gained market share and became the very epitome of the German wine industry. Luckily this has changed, and now German wines are among the very best in the world, especially those made from the Riesling grape. There are of course both dry and sweeter wines made from the Riesling as well, but here the high quality and acidity makes for a completely different experience.
The Riesling production in Alsace has also met many hardships over the years. Because of the location next to the German border, an invasion of France was best done trough here. Two world wars has been very devestating for the people of Alsace. But also if one looks further into history, Alsace has always been the entrance into France for invaders. The though Alsatians rebuilt their wine industry after the Second World War, and today the production and export is blooming, and they are producing some of the very best Rieslings in the world.
Riesling in the rest of the world
Riesling is now grown all over the world, both Australia and USA has started to produce some very good Rieslings. They are a little different from the German and French Rieslings, but there are some very good ones. And they are improving each year. Some of the Best ones are from Clare Valley in Australia and Washington State in USA.
The taste of Riesling.
In the world of grapes one often distinguish between aromatic and neutral grapes. Riesling falls under the aromatic category. Young riesling wines has flavours of fresh green apples, grapefruit and white peaches with a hint of white flowers, herbs and wet slate. With age it turns more towards honey, dried apricots and sometimes petroleum and plastic pool toys.
The Riesling grape needs cooler climate, and this also gives it a very high acidity. The wines produced often needs at least some residual sugar to balance the high acidity and create a balance and harmony. Because of the high acidity wines with some residual sugar often still tastes completely dry but fresh. The very best Riesling grapes are grown on steep hills in both Germany and France.
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2015, USA
Aromas of citrus, white flowers and ripe yellow plums with a hint of honey. Fruity, fresh with a luscious taste and a good flavour intensity.
Pairs with: Sushi and spicy dishes
Drink: 3-4 years
Producer: Charles Smith
Leitz Magic Mountain Rhudesheimer Riesling Trocken 2015, Tyskland
Aromas of green apples, grapefruit, white peaches white flowers, with a hint of wet slate and green herbs. Fruity and fresh with a good flavour intensity and a mineral driven finish.
Pairs with: Crayfish, cod and scallops
Drink: 7-8 years
Producer: Weingut Leitz
Trimbach Riesling 2015, Alsace Frankrike
Aromatic nose with aromas of white peaches, green apples, white flowers and citrus with of green herbs. Intens flavour with a great freshness and a good fresh finish.
Pairs with: Chicken, Cod and Crayfish
Drink: 7-8 years
Marius has worked in several parts of the wine business for the last 16 years. He is currently working as a Category Coordinator for wine and spirits in the Travel Retail business. He is also a part of a tasting panel for the financial newspaper in Norway and writes articles and lectures in his spare time.Marius has a huge passion and dedication for the wine and spirits industry. He is a certified Sommelier and is currently undertaking the WSET Diploma in wines and spirits education.