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Riesling Wines

Is there a more classic white wine than Riesling? It is not a grape that is often helped along by oak, like Chardonnay. Nor does it have the upfront p...

Is there a more classic white wine than Riesling? It is not a grape that is often helped along by oak, like Chardonnay. Nor does it have the upfront pungency of fruit such as Sauvignon Blanc for immediate appeal. Rather Riesling is all about subtlety of fruit driven by its origins with winemaking very much in the background.

Riesling originally hails from Northern Europe and has made its name in the wines of Alsace and Germany, although in completely different styles. The sun-drenched Alsatian climates plus old oak maturation makes for bold, savoury and generally dry styles which are the opposite of the finer, sweeter pure German Rieslings. Both styles are wines with great harmony, and in the best cases, good ageing potential. The Germanic Rieslings in particular from the Mosel, when made with botrytis-affected, or frozen fruit as in Eisweins, are truly extraordinary.

It is unsurprising that given its origins, Riesling best suits cooler climates. Oregon and Washington State in the USA as well as New Zealand can produce exceptional wines in an aromatic, sweeter style.

Australia too has made itself a home for high quality Riesling which are generally made on the drier side. These are almost all made in a very clean style to protect the delicate fruit characters through cool stainless steel ferment and maturation. For many years it was the Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia with the greatest reputations but over time many challengers have arisen, also crafting high quality wines. Western Australia’s Great Southern and Tasmania are now making extraordinary wines with exceptional complexity supported by zesty acidity. Of all these wines the greatest examples all show many layers of subtle fruit with bright acidity and the precision of character for which Riesling is rightly famous for.

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