GIBSON ON GRAPES: Rieslings to be cheerful, part II
Last week in this column I wrote about the great Riesling revival, which I'm currently waving the flag for, with some Rieslings from Australia and New Zealand.
This week there are four wines from the very heartland of this wonderful grape, Germany and Alsace.
Riesling is a highly aromatic and fruity grape which probably originates from the Rhine region of Germany, but it is perhaps the Mosel, which accounts for a third of all Germany’s plantings, that produces the most classic style of German Riesling – low in alcohol, light in body, with crisp, racy acidity and pure citrus and green apple fruits.
Ignored for so long, these wines can be made from dry all the way through to sweet.
But for me, when made in a off-dry style they can make a wonderful aperitif on a summer’s evening. And, while not really needing food, they can partner spicy Asian dishes brilliantly.
Peter and Ulrich Dry Riesling 2015, Mosel (Majestic £11.99 but if part of a mixed six bottles £9.99) is a good place to start.
With a little more alcohol than most, at 12 per cent, this has notes of lime and pink grapefruit, as well as that tell-tale green apple.
The palate has a lovely balance between fruit and acidity and the finish is long and dry. It’s made in a very modern style, almost a little bit new-world, and it would make a lovely match with some simple pan fried trout.
Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2015, Mosel (Waitrose £12.79 on offer from £15.99 until July 26) is from a single vineyard and one of the most famous in the Mosel where the slopes are so steep that everything has to be picked by hand.
This has some tropical fruits as well as green apples and a touch of spice.
The palate is very pure with zesty acidity and a long spice finish.
It’s only nine per cent in alcohol and is the sort of wine you could enjoy on a summer’s evening in the garden, given the fact it is a single vineyard wine from one of the Mosel’s most renowned winemakers this is fantastic value.
Alsace tends to make Riesling in a slightly more full-bodied, dryer style, which works very well with a wide variety of foods, particularly the classic dishes of the region itself.
Cave de Beblenheim ‘Kleinfels’ Riesling 2014, Alsace (Waitrose £7.99 on offer from £9.99 until July 26) has citrus and mineral aromas followed by a fresh, racy palate. It’s not over complex but makes a nice introduction to the style and would work well with some simple seafood.
Clos Saint-Jacques Riesling 2014, Domaine de la Ville de Colmar (Majestic £11.99 but if part of a mixed six bottles £9.99) is from a single vineyard and a step up in terms of complexity.
The nose shows peach, citrus, apple blossom and a little spice, followed by quite a textured palate with a long, beautifully balanced spicy finish.
Try this with some roast pork as something a little different.