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Wines from Germany

(Prices and stockists in the UK are listed in brackets; as a rough guide £1 = US$1.80. Date of tasting is indicated at the end of each note as month/year)

See also featured producers:

And my blog entries on German wine

Kendermanns Dry Riesling 2007 Pfalz, Germany
Fruity and bright with a minerally edge, this is a crisp, attractive, appley Riesling that’s attractive and fresh. 82/100 (Budgens, Nisaway, Tesco, Waitrose, Rhythm & Booze £5.59; 12.5% alcohol) 04/09  

Devil’s Rock Pinot Grigio 2007 Rheinhessen, Germany
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, fruity and quite characterful, with some herb, apple, honey and mineral character. There’s a strong ‘stony’ character to this wine, which sets it apart from neutral Italian Pinot Grigio, and it comes across as very fruity. Fresh and assertive. 84/100 (£4.99 Somerfield) 04/09

Reichsrat von Buhl Riesling QBA 2007 Pfalz, Germany
Delightfully fresh, light, bright and aromatic, with lovely lemon and grapefruit zippiness. There's a hint of sweetness on the palate, but overall it is dry and minerally; mouthwatering and precise. Brilliant stuff. Sealed with a Diam closure, and 11% alcohol. 89/100 (£10.39 Laithwaites) 10/08  

Kendermanns Pinot Noir Special Edition 2007 Pfalz, Germany
Quite pale coloured, which is often a good thing with Pinot Noir. This shows somewhat muted aromatics, but lovely fresh, slightly sweet cherryish fruit on the palate with nice smooth texture and a hint of green sappiness. It’s not the most complex Pinot ever, but it does taste like Pinot Noir, and it’s a satisfying drop with attractive ripe fruit. 86/100 (£7.99 Tesco) 10/08

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2006 Pfalz, Germany
Pale cherry red colour. There’s an attractive herby, savoury, minerally character to the nose which shows some lightly aromatic red cherry fruit. The palate has a smooth, elegant sort of fruitiness, with a hint of grippy spiciness backing up the red cherry fruits, as well as a trace of undergrowthy complexity. A light, attractive Pinot of real merit. 88/100 (£9.99 Oddbins, £7.99 if you buy any 12 wines) 10/08

Meyer-Näkel Dernauer Pfarrwingert Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs 2006 Ahr, Germany
This is a really beautiful, complex wine. It’s the follow-on vintage from the one that won the Pinot Noir trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2008. Fantastically aromatic nose reminds me a bit of a really good Marlborough (New Zealand) Pinot Noir: it’s sweet and forward, with bright fresh cherry fruit coupled with subtle green sappy and herby medicinal notes. It’s really attractive: one of those wines that you just want to smell again and again. The palate is complex with spicy dark cherry fruit coupled with red berry notes. It’s sweet, but savoury at the same time, with some plummy bitterness in the background, good acidity and some grippy tannins, but always the sweet fruit is to the fore. This shows just how good German Pinot Noir can be, but it does come at a price. 93/100 (£41.50 The Wine Barn, http://www.thewinebarn.co.uk/ ) 10/08  

Georg Bruer Berg Schloossberg Riesling 2006 Rheingau, Germany
A fantastic wine that shows Riesling at its best. Lovey taut limey fruit on the nose; great concentration and minerality on the palate. Good weight with real presence and also a bit of residual sugar adding volume. 92/100 09/08

Hans Lang Riesling Auslese Hattenheimer Hassel 2005 Rheingau, Germany
Sweet and honeyed with some melony fruit. Rich with lots of fruit, and quite viscous, too. Well made but not as exciting as I was hoping. 89/100 09/08  

Dönnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 2006 Nahe, Germany
What a remarkable wine. It’s incredibly rich – much richer than you’d expect a Mosel Kabinett to be – with bold, sweet citrus, melon and pear flavours mingling beautifully with spicy minerality and brisk acidity. All the competing elements are held in almost perfect tension, with the sugar/acid balance supporting the expressive fruitiness quite wonderfully. It’s concentrated and quite sweet, and really elegant and harmonious. It’s great to find so much complexity in a relatively young wine like this. 8.5% alcohol. 93/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene) 07/08  

Schloss Vollrads Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2007 Rheingau, Germany
Minerally, lemony nose is focused and precise. The palate is crisp, limey and acidic with lots of minerality. A pure, zippy sort of Riesling with beautiful focus. Highly food compatible and bone dry. 12% alcohol. 89/100 (9 Euros) 09/08  

Dr Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2007 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
A delightfully bright example of Kabinett, with a lovely aromatic, fresh lemony, flowery, honeyed nose. The palate has a brilliant balance between the sweet tropical fruit and the high grapefruity acidity, with some spicy complexity and lovely precision. Fruity, fresh and low in alcohol (7.5%), this is the perfect lunchtime wine, but it’s also great for casual sipping, and would work well with light seafood dishes. Just off-dry, but still very fresh. 90/100 (£11.99 Waitrose, Booths) 06/08  

Palatium Pinot Blanc 2007 Pfalz, Germany
Bright, fresh and fruity with some melony richness to the fruit, as well as a touch of honey and a crisp, slightly herby, citrussy finish. With a hint of sweetness and a subtle smoky hint, this is a rather stylish, versatile, fruit-driven white that's good value for money. 84/100 (£5.29 Tesco)

Clos des Rochers Pinot Blanc Wormeldange Nussbaum 2006 AOC Moselle Luxembourgoise
I think this is the first wine from Luxembourg that I've tried, and it's pretty good. It's a sort of cross between Germany and Alsace in style. The rich, fruity, smoky spicy nose has real appeal. The palate is just off-dry, with a hint of sweetness to the rich, spicy, herby, baked apple and citrus fruit, which finishes nice and spicy. The high acidity keeps things fresh. A sophisticated white wine that's pretty useful with spicy food. This is actually really good value for money. 89/100 (£8.99 Waitrose) 06/08

Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprost Riesling Spätlese 2006 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Expressive open nose leads to a powerful palate with lovely expressive minerally spicy presence to the fresh lemon, melon and honey fruit. Drinkining brilliantly now. 91/100 06/07

Daniel Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Spätlese Gold Kapsule 2006 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Quite tight and precise lemony nose with a bit of honey. The palate is concentrated with lovely richness of texture. Some elegance, too. Sweet and honeyed with nice minerally, spicy complexity. 90/100 06/07

Morrison's The Best German Riesling NV, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
There's a whiff of minerally sulfur on the nose, which leads to a soft, off-dry palate with honeyed tropical fruit character bolstered by some minerally acidity. Nicely balanced, and at just 8% alcohol this is a really refreshing, quaffable wine. 82/100 12/07

Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese 2005 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Focused nose shows sweet melon, lemon and some minerals and spice. The palate is rich and viscous, yet still fresh and transparent. There’s potential for this to be a long-lived wine – I reckon it needs a lot of time to show its best. 90/100 06/07

JJ Christoffel Erben Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett 2005 Mosel, Germany
Pale coloured and very fresh, with some CO2 spritz, this shows wonderfully precise, delicate lime, melon and honey fruit with a rich but light texture. There’s some minerality together with some complexity. It’s off-dry, but the high acidity makes it seem less sweet. 90/100 (French and Logan, c. £9) 07/07

Tesco Finest Steillage Riesling 2005 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Limey, appley nose with some minerals. Fresh, bright limey focused palate with a bit of sweetness adding weight. A fruity, off-dry style kept crisp by its acidity. 81/100 (£5.69 Tesco) 02/07

Leitz Dragonstone Riesling 2004 Rheingau, Germany
From the Rudesheimer Drachenstein vineyard. Delicious, precise minerally, limey nose with some sweetness. Concentrated limey palate has a lovely spicy edge and some melony sweetness countering the high acidity. Lively and delicious. 60 g/l residual sugar; this is declassified Spätlese. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£7.69 Oddbins) 02/06  

Kendermanns Dornfelder 2005 Pfalz, Germany
This German red has a lovely purity of soft fruit, a trademark of the Dornfelder grape. Nice open nose of sweet red fruits. The palate is soft and fruity with lovely accessible pure red berry fruits. Almost no tannin; just a little bit of spiciness. A soft, ripe, rich, almost jammy wine that’s easy to drink. Very good 84/100 (£4.99 Tesco) 01/07

Naked Grape Riesling 2005 Pfalz, Germany
On the back label Ernst Loosen says he had a ‘vision of a fruity, off-dry Riesling with such purity of flavour that it can truly be called “The Naked Grape”’, and with this wine he’s succeeded. It is crisp, clean, lemony and herby. Quite bright with a bit of transparency and a rounded texture. Simple, fruity and versatile. Screwcapped with a Saranex liner. Very good+ 86/100 (£5.99 Waitrose, EH Booth) 01/07  

Lingenfelder Bird Label Riesling 2004 Pfalz, Germany
The charming, slightly eccentric Rainer Lingenfelder makes some very smart wines, including this wonderfully accessible entry-level Riesling. It has an appealing nose that combines sweet melon and apple fruit with a nice minerality. The palate has just enough residual sugar to counter the minerally acidity perfectly, and the result is a plump, just off-dry melony wine of real appeal. Great for casual sipping. 11.5% alcohol. Very good+ 87/100 (£6.09 Oddbins) 07/06  

Kendermans Eiswein 2003 Rheinhessen, Germany
As cheap as Eiswein gets, but is this budget version any good? It shows sweet, smooth, grapey melony fruit with a lifted, almost spicy edge and some honey and lemon notes. The palate is quite viscous with very sweet, pure grapey fruit and a bit of honeydew melon richness. Viscous with good balancing acidity: it’s not the world’s best ice wine, but it is sweet and quite tasty. Very good+ 89/100 (£8.49/half, Waitrose, Tesco) 12/05  

Egon Müller Riesling Scharzhofberger Kabinett 1999 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Greenish glint to the yellow colour. Stunning nose of complex minerally lemon and peach fruit. The palate is luscious, quite rich and rather sweet. It is smooth but with enough acidity to provide focus. Fatter than you might expect from a Kabinett, this is a rich, complex, sweet Riesling. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£14.85 Haynes, Hanson & Clark) 09/04

JJ Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese 1994 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Aromatic nose is minerally and petrolly. The palate has a lovely balance between the sweet lemony, spicy flavours and the focused minerality. It’s drinking really well now but will no doubt keep on going for a long time yet. Pronounced acidity. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£13.99 Waitrose) 05/04

JJ Christoffel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese** 1999 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Lovely focused wine with good acidity. Very rich. Nice texture and some sweetness balanced by complex minerality. Very good/excellent 94/100 03/04

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermännchen Riesling Spätlese 2001 Nahe, Germany
Forward, sweet melony nose with some fine lemony notes. The palate is rich and intense but still quite elegant with sweet melony fruit and good acidity. This needs some time to put on complexity, but it’s more like an Auslese in weight. Very good/excellent 92/100 08/04

Hermann Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese 2002 Nahe, Germany
Very striking, pure lemon and mineral nose with some floral perfumed notes. The palate is rich and broad with high residual sugar and also high acidity holding the melony, lemony fruit in fusion. Very good/excellent (£21.95 Berry Bros) 10/03

Markus Molitor Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 1996 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
I was a bit underwhelmed by this wine from Molitor, a highly rated producer. It has a bright lifted apple and melon nose with a palate that shows lots of fruit but too-high acidity. Very good 82/100 (£14.95 Berry Bros) 10/03

Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2001 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Second of a six pack I bought a year ago, I’m going to leave the remaining four for a few years after tasting this. Melon, lemon and spice notes on the rich nose leads to a rich textured palate with ripe melon fruit and a distinct spiciness. Medium sweet and approachable now, this really needs to put some complexity on. Very good+ 89/100 12/03

JL Wolf Pinot Gris 2001 Pfalz, Germany
The Pfalz is a southern German region that makes drier, fuller bodied whites than the Mosel. This is a rich, boldly flavoured white with notes of roast nuts and honey. Very good 84/100 (£4.99 Sainsbury) 11/03

Langenbach Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Auslese Cabinet(sp) 1949 Rheingau, Germany
It’s not every day you try a German Riesling from the 1940s. This is an orange colour, with a nose of fresh apricot and marmalade with some waxy notes. The palate is rounded and ripe with some apricot fruit. It changes in the glass wuite quickly, losing its character as it fades. It’s hard to be totally objective about an old wine like this. Very good/excellent 91/100 09/03

Weingut Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Kabinett 2001 Mosel Saar Ruwer
Attractive modernist label design. Appealing pure nose is quite minerally with integrated, classy lime and grapefruit edge, with some honeyed sweetness. The palate is delicate but still rich textured, with some residual sugar apparent. Acidity provides nice balance. Good concentration. Slightly spritzy from the carbon dioxide. Very good+ 08/02

Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2001, Mosel Saar Ruwer
The restrained, smoky nose is quite minerally and spicy, but initially shows a blast of sulfur. The palate is richly textured and quite mineralic, with zingy acidity and lots of spicy character. There’s a little sweetness, which adds roundness and smoothness to the texture. A concentrated, rich wine but still very youthful, so give it a few years to start to perform properly. Very good/excellent (£7.49 Bentalls; Noel Young have it for more) 09/02

Peter Jakob Kühn Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Kabinett 2000, Rheingau, Germany
Honeyed, lemony nose is ripe, expressive and full. The rich-textured palate is quite sweet and full with tropical fruit and melon notes. Very good/excellent (£9.99 Waitrose) 10/02  

Michael der Pfarrkirche Riesling Bernkastler Lay Auslese 1976, Mosel, Germany
Quite a honeyed, slightly spicy nose. Rich, semi-sweet and honeyed on the palate. Some complexity but not as much as you’d expect from 25 years bottle age. Mature and drinking nicely now. Very good 05/02

Robert Weil Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese 2001, Rheingau, Germany
Lifted apple and lemon fruit on the nose. The palate is rich and full with a lemony twist to the sweet, fat textured apple and pear palate. Very expressive. Very good/excellent (£24 Waitrose) 10/02  

Dr Hermann Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 1995 Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Very forward, limey, appley nose with some honeyed notes and a touch of spice. Quite a rich, sweet palate with lovely fruity character, some melon-like richness and good acid. Appealing stuff. Very good/excellent (Majestic) 10/02

Willi Haag Estate Riesling QbA 1999, Mosel, Germany
From a small 5 ha estate run by Inge Haag and her son Markus. Attractive perfumed floral nose with a bright lemony lift. Deliciously rich balanced palate with nice balance and some tropical fruit/melon character. Impressive and pure. Very good+ (£6.95 Berry Bros) 04/02

JJ Prüm Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 1999, Mosel, Germany
One of the leading Mosel estates, established in 1911 and since 1969 run by Manfred Prüm. 33.5 ha of vines are planted on steeply sloping schist soils. Pronounced rich mineralic high-acid nose is quite striking with a strong almost meaty savoury edge. Concentrated palate is rich, spicy and mineralic. Not particularly sweet but very rich. Quite a serious wine. Very good/excellent (£13.45 Berry Bros) 04/02

Domedechant Werner’schen Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Spätlese 1999, Rheingau, Germany
A classy, rich style of Riesling. Very rich tropical fruit and pear nose with a sweet honeyed edge. Massively concentrated tropical fruit palate with melon and spice notes. Quite sweet but the good acidity provides balance. Brilliant stuff. Very good/excellent (£12.95 Berry Bros) 04/02

Von Buhl Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Auslese 1996, Rheinpfalz, Germany
One of the leading Pfalz estates, with 55 ha of vines. Very rich, slightly cabbagey sweet honeyed fruit on the nose. Rich textured, concentrated fruity palate: very sweet but with very high acidity. Unusual style, and perhaps a little disjointed. Very good (£13.95 Berry Bros) 04/02

Von Metternich-Winneburgische Schloss Johannisberger Riesling 1999 Qualitätswein, Rheingau
AP No. 26 026 022 00. The sweet, grapey nose is quite delicate with some citrussy notes. The palate is crisp and fresh, with a dry finish and good acidity. Nicely mineralic, but needs some time in the glass to open out a bit. Very good 06/01

Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 1994, Nahe
AP no. 7753 01 011 95. Rich mature Riesling nose with petrol character and some citrussy elements. Full flavoured with good acidity, and showing its age. Nice stuff. Very good+ (Justerini & Brooks £11) 07/01

Christoffel Berres Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 1992, Mosel
A pale yellow colour, this has a sweet limey mineralic nose. The palate shows flavours of peach, apple and honey; it’s rich textures and sweet, with appropriate acidity. A pleasant, rounded wine. Very good+ (Majestic) 06/01

Fritz Haag Riesling 1996, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
AP no. 0502 97. A yellow gold colour, this emerges after a while in the glass to show an intense, minerally nose of citrus and honey. The palate is really nicely poised: it’s mineralic and a tiny bit spicy with good length and acidity. There are also some grapefruit notes. Superb for a qualitätswein, and great value. Very good/excellent (Justerini & Brooks £6.95) 07/01

Dr Hermann Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 1994, Mosel saar Ruwer
AP no 2602 145 695 Where else would you get seven year old Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese for a fiver but Majestic? This is a good one, despite the low price. Lovely smoky honey-tinged nose leads to a rich palate with bracing acidity, some appley notes and a touch of spice. Expressive and tasty, this doesn’t taste overly sweet, although there’s clearly quite a bit of residual sugar here. Very good+ (£4.99 Majestic) 08/01

Michael Schäfer Riesling Auslese Burg-Layer-Rothenberg 1992, Nahe, Germany
AP no. 7763 076 11 93. Very unusual nose: petrolly, waxy and limey notes intermingle with a slight chemical edge. Weighty palate with thick-textured melon and tropical fruit nuts, a limey kick on the finish and some sweetness. A bit odd but interesting. Good/very good (£5.99 Majestic) 01/01

Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett 1998, Mosel Saar Ruwer
AP no. 2 602055 00799 (Tasted blind, note as written) Lovely sweet limey and spicy nose. Palate is delicate and beautifully poised, with good acidity, a dry finish and a touch of minerality. There's some ripe, spicy appley fruit here; it's quite attractive and youthful, clearly a Mosel Riesling. Very good/excellent 08/01

Burg-Leyer Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett 1991, Nahe, Germany
Lots of everything here, but spoiled by a harsh finish. Striking nose shows waxy, tropical fruit notes with smoky, petrolly overtones. Limey, high-acid palate is a bit crude. Good/very good (£3.99 Majestic) 10/01

Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium Neumagener Rosengärtchen Riesling Kabinett 1994, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Intense, high acid, limey nose leads to a full-on palate with some sweetness but tongue-curling acidity. Impressive intensity but out of balance. Good (£4.99 Majestic) 10/01

Dr Hermann Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese 1998, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Ap No. 2 602 145 5 99; 7.5% alcohol. Expressive nose shows lime, spice and a touch of melon-like richness. Good residual sugar gives nice texture on the rich palate. In balance, and worth tucking a few of these away to age? At this price it would be rude not to. Very good+ (£4.99 Majestic) 10/01

Dr Hermann Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese 1998, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Ap No. 2 602 145 3 99; 7.5% alcohol. Textbook stuff at a giveaway price. Classic lime, honey and spice nose leading to a rich, broad, rounded palate with good balance and a sweet finish. Very good+ (£4.99 Majestic) 10/01

Dr Hermann Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 1996, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
AP No 2 602 145 897; 8% alcohol. Incredible value for money: for the price of an industrial Chardonnay you get a serious expression of Riesling from a leading Mosel vineyard site. The complex, beautifully evolved nose shows notes of lime, honey and minerals. The palate is quite sweet, but with lovely balancing acidity. A full textured sweet wine that's perfect for sipping on its own. Very good/excellent (£5.99 Majestic Majestic) 10/01 

Burg-Layer Rothenberg Riesling Auslese 1992, Nahe, Germany
Ap No. 7 763 076 11 93; 8% alcohol. A yellow/gold colour. Evolved, slightly petrolly, honeyed nose showing tropical fruit, mango and a touch of lime. Very rich on the palate with a sweet finish. Delicious stuff, and in balance still. Very good+ (£5.99 Majestic) 10/01

Lergenmüller Chardonnay Spätlese 1997, Pfalz, Germany
When this nicely packaged German Chardonnay showed up in Waitrose, my curiosity was aroused. It turned out to be a fairly complex, bond dry, savoury wine with some real interest, and a very different drink to your average new world chard. A full yellow/gold colour, this has spice and honey on the nose with some toasty, bready notes. The palate is broad and savoury with high acid and a spicy finish. There are also honey and nutty elements, a tinge of bitterness, and noticeable oak influence from barrique fermentation and ageing. Very good (£6.99 Waitrose) 05/01

Schloss Reinhartshausener 1971 Hattenheimer Hassel Riesling Spätlese, Rheingau, Germany
(AP No 32071 006 72) Lovely complex old Spätlese that is drinking perfectly now. Light gold in colour, the nose shows typical aged Riesling character of concentrated lime and what's often described as kerosene. The palate is surprisingly fresh for a 30 year old wine and shows intense, rich character and a bit of spicy botrytis. The finish is relatively dry. Excellent

Kendermans Riesling Spätlese 1998, Mosel Saar Ruwer
A step up from sugar-sweet Liebfraumilch, but still a bit mass-produced; at least this is a genuine Riesling. Nose of honey, apples and lemons, and a rich, appley, honeyed palate with fairly low acidity and some sweetness. Rounded and pleasant, but not too complex. Good/very good (Sainsbury £4.99) 05/01

Bassermann Jordan Riesling Eiswein Forster Ungeheuer 1996, Pfalz
Eiswein is made from grapes that have been left on the vine until winter night-time temperatures drop well below freezing. Then, in the early hours of the morning the frozen grapes, not affected by botrytis, are picked and crushed, resulting in a super sweet must that is then fermented. They're always expensive, but not always worth the money. This one is, though. Deeply coloured, with an incredibly rich, sweet nose of toasty caramel, honey, lime and some spiciness. It's very complex, with a slight cabbagey edge. The palate is syrupy sweet with a spicy edge and hugely rich texture. Good acidity provide balance. Sensational stuff. Excellent 4/01

Schloss Saarstein Serriger Riesling Kabinett 1999, Mosel Saar Ruwer
9% alcohol. A typical Saar style, steely and dry. This pale coloured wine has a pronounced mineralic nose, with citrus and floral notes. The palate is powerful and intense, with spicy complexity and good balance. It finishes with a touch of honey, and is quite dry, but with enough residual sugar to counter the considerable acidity. Very good/excellent (price guide: Berry Bros have the 1995 for £8.50) 4/01

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 1998, Mosel Saar Ruwer
8.5% alcohol. From the Mosel, showing some richness and ripe fruit. The slightly smoky, mineral nose is currently a little closed. The palate is rich and rounded, with some spiciness, a lively acidic kick and a touch of sweetness on the finish. Very good 4/01

Lingenfelder Grosskarlbacher Osterberg Riesling Spätlese 1999, Pfalz
12% alcohol. Distinctive stuff that veers in the direction of new world Riesling in style. Rich, sweet nose shows exotic tropical fruit and citrus notes, with a smoky edge and a mineral streak. The dry palate has bold flavours and good acidity, with more of those mineral notes. Very good/excellent 4/01

Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Riesling Auslese 1997, Mosel Saar Ruwer
From leading Ruwer estate Karthäuserhof, this wine has 9.5% alcohol. The nose is lively and full, with citrus notes dominating. The palate explodes with spicy citrus fruit, some sweet honey notes and high balancing acidity. Lovely stuff. Very good/excellent 4/01

Jordan & Jordan 1996 Schazhofberger Riesling Trocken, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Qualitätswein
Made by Peter Jordan, before he retired, this is a skinhead of a wine, with bags of flavour but vicious acidity. It shows a lovely, limey/citrus nose with a touch of honey and a slight urine-like edge. On the palate it is powerful and citrussy with piercing acidity. It’s extremely youthful and I suspect this will age beautifully (but slowly) if you have the patience to leave it. Very good/excellent (if you like the style) 1/01

Riechsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Auslese ‘Long gold capsule’ Piesporter Goldtropfchen 1989 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Delicious stuff. A spicy, appley nose is followed up by a rich, full palate with appley, honeyed fruit, plenty of spice and a nice mineralic, citrussy edge. Age has softened the texture and there is some sweetness (it’s medium-sweet); the overall impression is one of great balance. Excellent 1/01

Dr Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett 1986 Mosel Saar Ruwer
(Ap No 2 576 162 03 87) Pre-Ernst Loosen, this mature wine is a lovely, laid back Riesling. A fresh yellow colour, it has an appealing nose of honey, minerals and petrol, with a bit of lemon juice. It shows nice balance on the palate with moderate acidity, honey and apples, and a touch of sweetness. Very good 2/01

Christoffel-Berres 1994 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Deliciously fruity Riesling with a complex, rounded palate displaying notes of apples, lemons and pears. Nice acidity and great balance for the price; there's a bit of sweetness on the finish, but this helps. Very good+ (4.99 Majestic) 1/01

J. L. Wolf Pinot Gris 1999, Pfalz, Germany
From Ernst Loosen's 'other' estate in the Pfalz, this shows a neutral nose with a hint of spice. On the palate it is lively, fresh and dry. Overall, though, I find it lacking a great deal of character, which is a shame. OK/good (Adnams £6.50) 11/00

Trier Augenscheiner Riesling Kabinett, Jacobus 1990
How do Majestic do it? A stunning, mature Riesling at a bargain price. Quite lovely evolved citrus nose; bold and full. Fierce stuff on the palate, with piercing acidity and dry finish. Very good+ (Majestic £3.99) 10/00

Bernkastler Badstude Riesling Kabinett, Jacobus 1990
Another great mature Riesling at a bargain price. Ripe, rounded nose of apples and citrus fruit, with an appley palate and piercing acidity. Very good+ (Majestic £3.99) 10/00

Sanctus Jacobus 1990 Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
A startling wine on a couple of counts. First, how do Majestic manage to sell a ten year old wine for less than £4? Second, the taste. On the nose it shows intense citrus character, with honey and apples. On the palate, there's more of the citrus fruit, coupled with nice complexity but beware the almost brutal, tooth-eroding acidity. Fresh and full flavoured, this shows how well even inexpensive German Rieslings can age. Some will hate it; others will love it. Very good (£3.99 Majestic) 1/01

Kendermans Vineyard Selection Pinot Grigio 1998, Qualitätswein, Pfalz, Germany
Bright, fresh and zesty; clean and dry with lemony fruit and high acidity. Not a great deal of varietal character, but a nice glugger, none the less. Noticeably German in style. (Sainsbury £3.99) 9/00

Lingenfelder Riesling 1998 (Bird label), Qualitätswein, Pfalz
Fruity and fresh with lively citrus flavours and a slightly honeyed edge. Bold wine; great value. Very good. (£4.99 Oddbins) 10/00

Stephen Ehlen Riesling Erdener Treppchen Auslese 1990, Mosel Saar Ruhwer
Sweet nose with stones and citrus. Apple and honey notes on the palate with citrussy overtones. Intense and fresh, despite its age, with good balancing acidity. A powerful wine, medium sweet and very good. I'd have no worries holding this a few years yet, although there's enough sweetness there that this would be difficult to match with food. (£8.99 Waitrose) 9/00

Lingenfelder Riesling 1998 (Bird label), Qualitätswein, Pfalz, AP No. 511 7050 1899, Germany
Lovely bright, crisp Riesling with pure, piercing grapefruit and citrus flavours. Good concentration and high acidity, a nice wine for less than a fiver. Very good. (£4.99 Oddbins) 9/00

Meßmer 1996 Scheurebe Kabinett Burrweiler Attenforst, Gustabfülung, Germany
QMP AP no. 50160952597
Scheurebe is one of the few German crosses that has been a success, producing characterful flavour-packed wines, and this one is no exception. It displays pronounced gooseberry, grapefruit and citrus flavours, with a slight muskiness on the nose. The palate is mouth-wateringly juicy, a combination of the residual sugar and the keen acidity. It’s a delicious, forward wine, but I’m a little unsure about the slight muskiness. Good/very good (£5.79, Oddbins) 8/00

Wegner Dornfelder 1999, Trocken, Pfalz Qualitätswein AP no. 5 342 899 17400
An inexpensive example of one of the better German red grapes, Dornfelder. It is a youthful red/purple colour and displays medium bodied, supple fruitiness. There is a bit of volatility. Upmarket plonk: there's nothing wrong with it, but it isn't memorable either. (DM 7.99, from a supermarket in Berlin) 7/00

Dr Loosen Riesling 1997, Mosel Saar Ruhwer, QbA
There's a blast of sulphur on the nose, but this quickly blows off to reveal a strikingly poised appley/honeyed wine with some citrus character, a touch of sweetness and piercing acidity. Nicely put together, pleasant and fresh. I like this, but I'm aware that it is a style that might not appeal to all. (£5.99, Majestic) 5/00

Schloss Reinhartshausen 1988 Erbacher Schossberg Riesling Kabinett 
Intense, petrolly, waxy nose with a touch of botrytis: there are some semi-industrial, petrolly notes. Good concentration. Bone dry on the palate, with crisp, full palate and a spicy undercurrent. High acidity. All in all, it is a complex, unusual wine that makes a great food match. Great value, too. (£8.50, Handford Wines) 7/00

Weingut Grans-Fassian 1994 Trittenheime Apotheke Riesling Auslese, Mosel Saar Ruhwer, AP 3 529 042 11 95
Rich nose of citrus. On the palate there is a lovely richness. It is sweet and spicy; harmonious with nice balancing acidity. There are notes of citrus, spice, honey and apples. An excellent food match, despite the sweetness, with a supper of puff pastry, chicken, brie and red peppers, served with broccoli and pine kernels. (£6.99, Majestic) 3/00

Dr Loosen Riesling, Qualitatswein, Mosel Saar Ruhwer 1995
For this rather basic quality level this is an attractively made Riesling with honey, citrus fruit and minerals, and a little residual sugar. It’s well balanced and very drinkable. (Thresher, £3.99) 5/99

Reischgraf von Kesselstatt 1996 Graacher Himmerlreich Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer, QMP AP 3561077 55 97 8.5º  alcohol
Striking nose of pears, apples and honey, with a touch of stinky cabbage. On the palate it is quite soft and gently sweet, with flavours of canteloupe melon and grapefruit. Some apples and honey, also. A nice wine for casual sipping: Fiona calls this a 'breakfast wine'! Makes a real change from the big new world whites that form the bulk of our white wine consumption. Very good. (Oddbins £7.49) 2/00

Dr Loosen Riesling Kabinett 1992, Mosel Saar Ruhwer
Light Gold, this has a big citrus and lime nose. On the palate it is very smooth and is brought alive with apples, honey, lime and restrained acidity. Tastes sweeter than a Kabinett. There is a strong mineral component underlying all this. Very good. (Thresher £7.49) 5/99