Riesling

A stunning variety made in a bewildering array of styles from crisp, dry to off-dry and incredibly sweet.

Beyond style, the variety has incredible ability to be consumed young or very old, producing some of the most long-lived white wines of any variety. The sweet German Rieslings also rate as some of the worlds most expensive.

Where is it grown?

In Europe we see plantings in Alsace, France, across many regions in Germany from the Mosel to the Rheinhessen and the Pfalz. Along with Grüner Veltinger, Riesling is widely planted in Austria.

In South Australia, the Clare Valley’s, Polish Hill and Watervale produce stunning Riesling. You’ll find great Riesling coming from the Eden Valley SA, Central Victoria, Canberra, Tasmania, and, from the Great Southern in WA.

There are some cracking Rieslings coming out of New Zealand too!

What does it taste like?

Fresher dry styles tend to have citrus aromas and flavours with floral blossoms. Riper styles introducing stone fruit.

From region to region winemaking changes from simple pressing of fruit and fermentation to dry in stainless steel to use of skin contact and maturation in oak. Layering in different textures and flavours.

Shifting gear to Germany and Alsace the game of balancing sugar, alcohol and acid comes into play. From dry 12.5-13% wines we shift to lower alcohol dry wines and then the freshest of the sweet wines, the Kabinett styles. Coming in with as little as 7.5% sugar the trick is achieving balance with higher acidity. From Kabinett we mover through an array of styles increasing in sweetness and alcohol, heading all the way to the very sweet botrytis style Trockenbeerenauslese & Icewein made from frozen grapes.

You can read more about the different styles of Riesling made in Germany in the Wine Bites Mag articles exploring Riesling.

Off-dry Riesling lends itself beautifully to pairing with many Asian foods. Aged, sweeter, botrytis styles are perfect with cheese and fresher fruit desserts. Fresh, citrus styles are perfect with seafood and lighter poultry.

Willi's Wines!

Willi Schaefer makes the kind of complete, divine wines full of personality that just make me happy🙂

Check out the full list of 2018’s, 16’s & 12’s!

Kabinett

Spatlëse

“It is important to us that our Rieslings are light, playful and yet very strong in character. They should reflect their origins. The DOMPROBST is rather spicy and wild and the HIMMELREICH is more fruity and charming. Our wines should remain appetizing and never be sticky-sweet. We also prefer our dry Rieslings to be light in alcohol. The tremendous minerality gives the wines tension and flatters the fruit sweetness as a counterpoint. We don’t like to talk about analyses. One should taste the wines and form one’s own opinion. For us, perfect Riesling is something magical and refined, perhaps something like a dream. Light and yet tasty, long-lasting, playful and with incredible ripening potential.”
Christoph Schaefer

The Whole Collection

Willi Schaefer's Divine Wine!

  • The 2018's
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    Price: $ 116.00 Quantity:
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    Price: $ 69.00 Quantity:
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The First of Dönhoff's 2019's

The First of Gunderloch's 2019's

The Mighty Busch!

I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Clemens Busch just prior to the 2020 pandemic hitting Australia. Tasting with him and listening to his carefully thought out responses to my typically probing questions was exhilarating. We may have been in a pokie, slightly stuffy room, his wines still transported me to another place.

A maker of mostly dry wines in the Mosel is not common. Historically those I have tried, even at GG level, have generally lacked that something special, the spark that takes you from solid to stunning.

I’ve often thought it to be in the élévage, the wines have been too raw, unfinished, lacking harmony.

Clemens wines were a revelation! Crystalline & translucent with incredible depth and length, elegance and refinement, yet wines of substance of flavour and texture. Sophisticated, yet, worldly.

They are a wonderful contrast to the richer styles from regions like the Rheinhessen, once again showing the diversity of styles Riesling offers.





2017 Selbach Oster's

“Great Mosel Kabinett should be like drinking cool spring water; thirst quenching and delicious.” says Johannes Selbach. Mosel Rieslings have a balance which should be found in dry wines as well as the sweet. It is this tension between acidity, fruit and minerality which is Riesling’s unique and defining character.

Johannes explains “I personally prefer, like my late father and grandfather, less sweetness in ‘sweet’ wines, and love a firm texture that I would describe as ‘crunch’; like when you bite into a ripe fruit with firm skin and flesh. Hence we are making more fruity wines than obviously ‘sweet’ wines.” The sweetness is that of biting into perfectly ripe fruit, where you have the combination of juiciness and mouth-watering acidity at the same time, like biting into a perfectly ripe apple (Kabinett), peach and apricot (Spätlese) or of ripe tropical fruit (Auslese). Clean Botrytis will add elements of honey and smokiness to good Mosel Riesling. Riesling, regardless of style, should have a mineral core and acid backbone which are the structure, the spine and bones of the wine, supporting the fruit components.

Compared to Richter’s wines, Oster’s are definitely an edge drier.

2017 Max Ferdinand Richter Mosel Rizza's

Fritz Haags 💯 Rizza's

Julian Haart's Piesporter 2019's

The Beginning!

Kabinett

Spätlese

Rheinhessen Switcheroo!

Where in the World is Julian Haart?

Julian Haart is based in Piesporter further south down the Mosel River from Welen and Graach. Piesporter’s famous vineyards are Goldtröpchen, Schubertslay (being made extra famous by Keller’s purchase of a parcel), Domherr and Kreuztwingert.

He does a fruit exchange with Keller grabbing a few bunches of the Rheinhessen GG Frauenberg.

The German VDP has an excellent interactive map covering the wine growing regions of Germany. Clink on the Map to go to the live version. The map highlights his family’s winery. His relatively new estate hasn’t been added yet.

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