Just the weather for German Riesling

germany riesling

Just the weather for German Riesling

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)

7 Comments on Just the weather for German RieslingTagged ,
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

7 thoughts on “Just the weather for German Riesling

  1. Hi – there is always some weather record being set, but maybe that’s just because there are so many possible records. It’s a bit like cricket stats – “2nd best 3rd wicket partnership in India this century”, “3rd warmest last half of April since the war”. They always sound impressive. It may well be that the climate is changing unpredictably – here in Western Canada we are onto our 2nd very cool year in a row – but I’m not totally convinced that Vitis Vinefera plants don’t like that much. They seemed to have survived “the little ice age” and the move from Europe to the New World ok.

    As for scores and medals, would you say then that any wine you mark as 92 or more is worth a gold medal at the IWC, or isn’t as simple as that?

  2. “It’s a Marks & Spencer exclusive bottling” -.
    I’m not sure why you say that about Leitz’s Berg Roseneck Alte Reben Spatlese. It’s a wine Leitz bottles in every vintage and that goes to over 30 countries.

    I agree it’s a lovely wine, though 🙂

  3. He says it because it’s an M and S exclusive in Britain, I shouldn’t wonder. Marks do not have branches worldwide.

  4. I believe the Prinz von Hessen Riesling listed above is the “H” brand (£68.54 for 6x75cl at Bibendum).

    Dan Hertz
    Fine Wine Appraisals and Consulting

  5. I was over in the Rudesheim a couple of months back and visited Joseph Leitz. I haven’t tasted the 08 Berg Roseneck Alte Reben but there is no doubt that this winery is making some seriously impressive wines (dry through to sweet).

    Also, if you like the wines from Leitz, check out Eva Fricke’s offerings – she is the winemaker at Leitz but produces her own wines from vineyards in Kiedrich – makes tiny quantities but can be found at David Motion’s The Winery in Maida Vale.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top