Of all the German grape varieties, none is more synonymous with fine German wine, than the noble Riesling. A true favourite of wine drinkers the world over, a good Riesling wine is elegant, rich in character, high in natural fruit notes and has a racy freshness. It’s also expressive of its terroir and ages exceptionally well. Traditionally used to make sweet wines, Riesling’s versatility means it is now commonly used to make dry and sparkling white wines.
Riesling originated in the heart of the Rhine valley. The grape’s first documented existence was in 1435, in a cellar log from Germany’s small Hessische Bergstrasse wine region, south-east of Rheingau. Due to its surge in popularity Riesling is now the country’s premier grape variety, accounting for a fifth of all plantings and is grown across all the winemaking regions of Germany. There is an abundance of choice when it comes to Rieslings, particularly with so many wines available to buy online, but not all Rieslings are created equally. The WineBarn’s MD Iris Ellmann recommends her favourite Rieslings to enjoy this summer…
Bassermann-Jordan – 2018 Estate Riesling QbA Dry
The Wine: This dry Riesling is light and easy on the palate. It perfectly balances fine acidity with minerality, delivering an excellent finish. On the nose it has vibrant aromas of apple, peach and exotic fruits. It is a fresh, young Riesling.
The Origin: The estate wine is made from grapes grown in the vineyards of Ruppertsberg, Frost, and Deidesheim, in the Pfalz region of Germany. There, the soil is rich in loam, clay, rocky sandstone, basalt and limestone, giving the wine its distinctive minerality. The grapes were hand picked in early October, then gently pressed. The must settled for 24 hours, then fermentation took place in stainless steel vats.
Food Pairing: This white wine pairs perfectly with citrusy lemon chicken or mushroom & spinach risotto.
Clemens Busch – 2014 Red Slate Riesling QbA Dry
The Wine: The 2014 Red Slate Riesling or “Riesling Vom Roten Schiefer” is a certified organic and biodynamic wine. This Riesling has herbal notes, which compliment its intense flavours of grapefruit and spice. A powerful yet elegant wine, it is harmoniously balanced with a fine acidity.
Origin: This dry Riesling is produced from the fruit of Clemens Busch’s Marienburg vineyard, which is one of the best sites in Mosel region, due to its weathered red slate soils and steep south/south-east facing slopes.
Winemaking Philosophy: In 1984, Clemens and his wife Rita, decided to convert to sustainable, organic viniculture out of their deep respect for the environment. In practice, this has meant a commitment to intense manual labour – working the vineyards by hand, using biological diversity to protect the vines naturally and without the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers. The result is soil that is full of vitality and deep-rooted vines that deliver healthy, high quality fruit.
Food Pairing: This Riesling is the perfect companion to light dishes such as a salmon steak or chicken with salad.
K. F. Groebe – 2017 Riesling 1763
The Wine: Refreshing and elegant, this is a classic Riesling. Bursting with intense fruit flavours and full of character, it is an absolute pleasure to drink.
Origin: The wine’s name recalls the year the winery was founded. These centuries-old vineyards in Westhofen, Rheinhessen have been cared for by the generations of the Groebe family. This vineyard is classified by the VDP (an association of which only Germany’s most elite winemakers are members) as a Grosse Lage site. This is the highest classification that can be achieved based on the wine’s quality, uniqueness and distinctiveness derived from its origin.
The south-east facing slopes on which the grapes for this wine were grown has a loess loam and clay top layer with sand beneath.
Winemaking Philosophy: Groebe manage their vineyards sustainably using natural vegetation to promote the growth of the vines and without the use of herbicides, insecticides or mineral fertilisers. The grapes were harvested by hand in early October, then gently pressed. Using traditional methods, this Riesling was cold-fermented and vinified in oak barrels.
Food Pairing: The ideal accompaniment to a variety of dishes, particularly spicy Asian cuisine.
Allendorf – 2015 Winkler Riesling QbA Dry
The Wine: A moderately heavy wine it is robust and mature, yet not too intense. Its playful fruitiness, minerality and fine acidity, combine to give this Riesling its lively character. It delights on the palate with ripe, fruity-sweet apple, apricot and peach flavours and has enticing aromas of citrus and fresh chervil.
Origin: The southerly facing vineyards, near the river Rhine on which the grapes for this Riesling were grown, have deep calcareous loess soil.
Winemaking Philosophy: As a VDP member, Allendorf proudly own 70 hectares of some of the best vineyards in Winkel, Rüdesheim and Assmannshausen. The Allendorf family’s focus is on producing wines that reflect their terroir and are typical of Rheingau region. As this wine is from the Winkel site, it is characterised by loess and loam soil found there.
Food Pairing: This Riesling is well-suited to fried fish, veal and shellfish. creamy pasta dishes such as spaghetti carbonara.
The WineBarn offer a home delivery service and can deliver it to your door within 2 to 3 days.
Iris is also happy to offer personal recommendations and advice of wine selection. To discuss your wine requirements, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01962 761 215.