We really should be drinking more German Riesling. It’s fantastic. Nowhere else quite does Riesling like Germany, even though I am partial to expressions of this variety from Austria, Alsace, New Zealand and Australia.
Here are two that I have enjoyed today – both from the Rheingau. We are experiencing unseasonally warm weather here in the UK. It’s as if, for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been having our summer early. Today was mid-20s C and perfectly sunny. The same is forecast for tomorrow. I love it, but I’m slightly worried that the world’s climate is totally messed up. It seems that every year a new climate record is being set. Things are unpredictable, and climatically sensitive plants such as Vitis vinifera don’t like that very much.
Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Alte Reben Riesling Spatlese 2008 Rheingau, Germany
This is quite special. It’s a Marks & Spencer exclusive bottling of one of Leitz’ wines, and it’s lovely. Just 7.5% alcohol. Rich, ripe and textured with lovely pear and melon fruit, as well as a fresh lemony edge. Off dry, but also showing lovely freshness. Delicately balanced, with great complexity. 92/100 (£21 Marks and Spencer here)
Two interesting points about this wine. First, I gave it exactly the same score on a visit to the winery, and, second, it got a gold medal at last year’s International Wine Challenge, which I think it deserves. The Decanter World Wine Awards got it wrong, in my opinion, by awarding just a bronze.
Prinz von Hessen Riesling 2009 Rheingau, Germany
11.5% alcohol. Tight, pure, fresh and limey with a lovely pithy character. Crisp and precise, with notes of lime and minerals, as well as a hint of fruit sweetness. Fresh and transparent, with lovely purity. 89/100 (£12.50 Bibendum Wine, independent merchants)