Learn characteristics, winemaking/maturation, and important regions of Riesling, in addition to Germany's prädikat categories.
Does Riesling prefer a cool to moderate or a warm to hot climate?
Cool to moderate
Riesling is naturally low or naturally high in acidity?
Riesling’s susceptibility to Botrytis/noble rot is high or low?
Riesling is highly susceptible to Botrytis/noble rot.
Describe Riesling’s general profile.
- Fruit-forward (apple, peach, citrus)
- Pronounced floral notes (honeysuckle, blossom)
- High acidity
- Can be made dry to lusciously sweet
- Can be light to full bodied
What is the greatest benefit of Riesling’s high acidity?
It balances both ripeness and high levels of sweetness (residual sugar).
What are the different fruit profiles found in just-ripe Riesling vs. extra-ripe Riesling?
- Green apples
- Green pears
- Sour citrus (lemon, lime)
- Stone fruits (peach, apricot)
- Tropical fruits (mango, pineapple)
- Dried fruits (golden raisins)
Name 2 ways that off-dry or medium style Rieslings get their sweetness.
- Interrupting fermentation and filtering/removing yeast, leaving the wine with some residual sugar
- Adding sterile grape juice (Süssreserve) after fermentation
What is Süssreserve?
Sterile, naturally sweet grape juice
How do the sweetest styles of Riesling retain their sugar?
Fermentation stops naturally in the sweetest styles of Riesling.
Bascially, there is too much sugar for the yeasts to eat.
Why do winemakers typically ferment Riesling in stainless steel, or other inert vessels, rather than oak?
Oak imparts unwanted flavors that would obstruct Riesling’s delicate floral and fruity aromas.
Stainless steel helps Riesling retain those hallmark fruit and floral aromas and flavors.
What structural element helps Riesling age?
Name some tertiary flavors that aged Riesling can develop.
- Petrol (gasoline/Vasoline)
How many wine regions are there in Germany?
Name 3 regions in Germany known for making great Riesling.
“Pfalz” is pronounced like “false”.
Which wine region in Germany will have the lightest-bodied Rieslings and why?
Mosel because it is the most northerly and the grapes struggle to ripen.
What helps Riesling grapes ripen in Mosel?
The soils reflect sunlight and retain warmth which help grapes ripen in this cool climate.