Friday, September 16, 2022

German Riesling, Rosé, And A Surprise

Think you know German wine? You’ll be surprised by the diverse assortment of grapes and styles.

If your knowledge of German wine goes no further than Riesling, it’s not a bad thing. The cold climate and its sloping vineyards helped Germany develop world-class wines.

You should know, however, that simple sweet Riesling isn’t a true representation of German Riesling anymore. Drier Riesling has increased in production and masterful winemaking has balanced acidity and sweetness to produce wines that shine with a full spectrum of flavors without swamping you with sugar.

We sampled the Eva Fricke 2020 Trocken Riesling from Rheingau. The “trocken” means dry, but it doesn’t lessen the elegance of this bottle.

Juicy notes of lemon drop and apple fill this silky wine. At just 12.5% ABV, this is a light, food-friendly wine. The finish is dry and very satisfying.

If your knowledge of German wine is limited to Riesling, it is time to expand. Here’s a good place to start. The Seehof 2021 Pinot Noir Rosé comes from Germany’s Rheinhessen, a region known as the land of a thousand hills. Pinot Noir is Germany’s most popular red grape. For rosé lovers, this is great news as Pinot makes great blush wines. While prices of rosé continues to climb, this crystal-clear wine delivers everything you want for a price of about $19. Grown in limestone soil, this wine has an easy-going grace. Flavors of red apples and strawberries flow generously and keep you coming back for another glass.

Terraces Red, Vineyard Project 002 (2020) is a project of Weingut Roterfaden and the local Rosswag Co-Op. Rosswag is a small village located about 30 miles from Stuttgart. The village is surrounded by an ancient amphitheater of towering, steep, terraced vineyards. The terraces are over 1,000 years old and include 23 miles of stone walls.

From these historic vineyards comes a unique blend of 55% Lemberger, 25% Trollinger, 10% Regent, and 10% Schwarzriesling. Schwarzriesling is also known as Pinot Meunier. Trollinger is little-known but is a fragrant, late-blooming grape.

Together they make an entrancing wine with extracted flavors of cranberry, red fruit, and apple peel. Very light tannins and a low ABV keep this easy on the tongue. The wine also has a vibrant character with brambles, and herbal and pine notes.

This wine is organic and biodynamic. It’s one of the most unique wines to hit our tasting table and we’re thirsty for more. It retails for about $15 if you can find it.

Full disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.

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