Riesling is immediately pleasing. The aroma of a good Riesling jumps out of the glass and grabs you right away. Next, its intense fruit explodes on the palate in a wave of pure delight. Like a perfectly ripe piece of fruit, the wine will walk that fine line between tart and sweet, hitting you with juicy fruit, followed by a clean, brisk finish.
Pure, fruity and unoaked. Without the influence of new oak, Riesling gives you only the pure fruit flavours of the grape itself.
Riesling’s fine structure and naturally high acidity give it a unique vibrancy, making it very crisp and refreshing. Even the most powerful, full-bodied Riesling will still be elegant and charming.
Riesling keeps its identity wherever it’s grown. In spite of the great diversity in style between the various Riesling-producing regions of the world, Riesling has a strong personality that always comes through.
Riesling is often lower in alcohol. When grown in cool climates, where ripeness is low and acidity is high, Riesling will often have low to moderate alcohol (7.5 – 10% is common in Germany), and a bit of balancing sweetness. Dry, full-bodied Rieslings can be as high as 13% alcohol, but will still have the firm, bracing structure of Riesling’s high acidity.
Tastes great both young and old. Young Rieslings are bursting with the fresh “primary” aromas and flavours of the pure fruit. At their freshest, they are bubbly, effusive and utterly charming. They are very fun to drink at this age. After several years in the bottle (properly cellared, of course), good Rieslings start to develop the “secondary” aromas of maturity. The wines lose the bright “primary” fruit of their youth and become deeper, drier to the taste, earthier and more complex. It is a long, slow process that can take many decades, but for serious Riesling lovers, it is a special experience, and very much worth the wait.
Diverse and versatile. The nearly infinite diversity of sweetness levels, regional styles and individual vineyards means that there is a Riesling to fit any wine-drinking situation, with or without food.
Exceptional value. In general, Rieslings are among the best values in the wine world. Even hand-harvested, small-batch Rieslings from steep vineyards in Germany can be quite affordable compared to wines from other regions.