Germany was once one of the greatest wine producing countries of the world, especially for the fantastic wines based on the Riesling grape. Then came the advent of hybrid varieties such as Muller Thurgau which allowed growers to produce great volumes of less than interesting wines that tended to be sold as Liebfraumilch, Niersteiner Gutes Domthal and Piesporter Michelsberg in the 1970's and 1980's. Volumes that were sold became enormous but as the drinking population in the UK and USA became more educated, the appeal of these wines waned quickly.
Today, the wines that are produced in Germany are back to their former glory with Riesling once again king of the castle. Other grape varieties are now making an appearance too such as Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, the latter known locally as Spatburgunder.
Quality Riesling grown in areas such as the Rheingau and Mosel are world class and deliver a freshness and depth of flavour that has to be tasted to be believed. Another development in recent years has been the rise of wines labelled as Trocken or Halb Trocken - dry or half dry. In fact these wines tend to be a little sweeter usually than wine labelled as dry in other countries, but the Riesling grape does require a touch of residual sugar to deliver on the fine fruit flavours.
All in all, Germany is making incredible wines that rival the quality of those of other parts of the world. Try to park the memories of yesteryear and do give their wines a try. We're sure you won't be disappointed.
"Although bottled in May, the Selbach-Oster 2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett - not picked until mid-October - still showed yeasty ferment...View full details£17.85Sale
Racy and very fine, almost lace in a glass. J & H Selbach Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett boasts a delightful degree of refreshment fro...View full details£13.20Sale