Wine Press: German riesling is a wonderful thing

If you haven’t tried German riesling for years because you think of that warm German wine on  your corner shop’s  bottom shelf, then think again.

And now would be as good a time as any.  The  31 Days of German Riesling campaign organised by Wines of Germany  is in full flow.

Author and wine critic Stuart Piggott says:  “A miracle has happened in Germany. A generation ago there were good German wines but you had to search hard to find some. Today they are available in abundance in every price range.”

Dr Franz Werner, Domdechant Werner
Dr Franz Werner, Domdechant Werner

Domdechant Werner riesling bottleI was welcomed into the home of Dr Franz Werner, whose family has owned Domdechant for seven generations. If enthusiasm could be bottled, I doubt it could match his fine rieslings. A  Classic Rheingau is  so-named because it is typical of its region, in this case a light golden, mouth-filling acidity full of rounded citrus and stone fruits.

I tasted Dr Werner’s excellent Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Kabinett in his dining room, surrounded by family portraits as the early summer sun    glinted crisply on the elegant wine. Balanced peaches and pear mingled  wonderfully in the mouth, with a tingling lingering acidity.

Hochheimer 2009 vintage is £16.30 from www.tanners-wines.co.uk, along with  several of his other    superb rieslings.
Laithwaites has put together a case of 12 rieslings – six wines – to mark 31 Days, at a price of £119.88, including the Domdechant Werner Hochheimer Riesling Classic 2011 (£12.49 www.laithwaites.co.uk).
If you’re on Twitter, and you use German language to  greet @ampsfinewines   (www.ampsfinewines.co.uk)   they’ll give you 10% off German riesling until July 31.  For more information on 31 Days you can  follow @WinesofGermany on Twitter or go to  www.31daysofgermanriesling.co.uk. There’s  details of 31 Days events   plus some riesling facts, not least understanding the difference between kabinett and auslese.
Also in my glass
Another riesling, another country. France and  Alsace. Cave de Beblenheim Grafenreben  Alsace Riesling (RRP £9.99, Waitrose)  shouts apples. Not literally,  like a market trader. There’s apples on the nose with a murmur of apple blossom, and to taste it is apple pie without the pie and a  metal spoon taste-tink. Perhaps I should just say it is lovely, as indeed it is.