Episode 66 – 30th June 2021
Five elite and affordable German Rieslings
From tomorrow, and for the month of July, a number of wine merchants, restaurants and bars around the country will start celebrating ‘31 days of German Riesling’. Whether or not you are a fan of these vinous publicity stunts (I couldn’t care less), dry, aromatic, effortlessly refreshing and elite German Riesling is a thrilling category of wines, so let’s start a perpetual celebration of this style of wine and we might as well all kick off a day early!
2019 Fritz Willi, Riesling, Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium, Mosel (£11.25, www.vinofandango.co.uk; £12.99, www.kwoff.co.uk; £10.95, www.ndjohn.co.uk).
Sounding more like a barbecuing accident than a soothing, ice-cool wine, this is a super-clean, slightly off-dry beauty and I really like the citrus theme. It is bargain-priced for this level of winemaking skill.
2020 The Boar, Riesling, Leitz, Rheingau (£12.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk).
This time there is a signature, Leitz-style mineral core here which brings a cold, pebbly freshness to the lighter-framed Riesling fruit. Amazingly cleansing and uplifting, this is a thrilling aperitif style for slicing through spicier dishes and even wasabi and soy sauce.
2019 Riesling, Estate Dry, Gunderloch, Rheinhessen (£13.69, www.rannochscott.co.uk; £15.46, www.pullthecork.co.uk).
The ‘red slate’ vineyards here bring a different tone to this wine and it adds a little more mid-palate weight and also some spice and deeper apple and pear tones. I cannot believe the value afforded by all five of these wines but this is the only wine that does both pure aperitif work and also structured starters, too!
2018 Riesling, Monopol, Gutswein, Maximin Grünhaus, Mosel (£19.85, www.parchedwines.co.uk).
Climbing the complexity ladder, this is an elite wine from an elite winery and it is energetic, spritzy, impossibly beautiful and with a hint of grapeiness on the finish, it is downright sexy, too. Wow.
2018 Riesling, Pur Mineral, Rudolf Fürst, Franken (£21.95, www.stroudwine.com; £21.50, www.mumblesfinewines.co.uk; £24.00, www.highburyvintners.co.uk).
A Grand Cru estate with one of its entry-level wines and this means that you get cosmic skill at a fantastic price. This is the only bottle in this quintet that will develop further with age as opposed to just simply hang tight and then gently fade and it is also a richer, foodier candidate with tension, nobility and tremendous class.
Conclusion – I hope that you have enjoyed this quick trip around five elite German producers and their ‘affordable’ Rieslings. I also hope that you buy all five – this is probably the finest sub-£80 masterclass on German Riesling imaginable.