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Riesling

Learn about Riesling — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. It can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and the best exmples can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Tasting Notes for Riesling

Riesling can be a sweet or dry white wine. In any case it usually has a high acidity and stone fruit, citrus, spice and floral notes. At its ripest, it leans towards juicy peach, nectarine and pineapple, while cooler climes produce Rieslings redolent of meyer lemon, lime and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of petrol.

Perfect Food Pairings for Riesling

Riesling is quite versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, freshly shucked oysters and most Asian food. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secrets for Riesling

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

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  • Flat front label of wine
    J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Gold Capsule Auslese Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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    • RP92
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    Robert Weil Qualitätswein Trocken Kiedrich Turmberg 2009
    Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
    • WS93
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    J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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    Selbach Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Anrecht 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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    J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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    J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WS96
    • W&S91
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    Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WS92
    • RP92
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    J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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    J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Gold Capsule Auslese Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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    • RP92
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    Kilikanoon Mort's Reserve Riesling 2009
    Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S94
    • RP92
    • WS91
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    Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune 2009
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • JS95
    • WS94
    • RP91
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