twin peaks are its intense perfume and its piercing crisp
acidity which it manages to retain even at high ripeness levels.
In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings, yet
it is responsible for all its greatest wines. It is planted widely on
well-drained, south-facing slate-rich slopes, with the greatest wines coming
from the best slopes in the best villages. It produces delicate, racy, nervy
and stylish wines that cover a wide spectrum of flavours from steely and bone
dry with beautifully scented fruits of apples,apricots, and sometimes peaches,
through to the exotically sweet flavours of the great sweet wines.
It is also an important variety in Alsace where it produces
slightly earthier, weightier and fuller wines than in Germany. The dry
Rieslings can be austere and steely with hints of honey while the Vendages Tardives
and Sélection de
Grains Nobles are some of the greatest sweet wines in the world.
It is thanks to the New World that Riesling is enjoying a marked
renaissance. In Australia the grape has developed a formidable
reputation, delivering lime-sherbet fireworks amid the continental climate
Valley an hour's drive north of Adelaide, while Barossa's Eden Valley is
cooler still, producing restrained stony lime examples from the elevated
granitic landscape; Tasmania is fast becoming
their third Riesling mine, combining cool temperatures with high UV levels to
deliver stunning prototypes.
New Zealand shares a similar climate, with Riesling and Pinot Gris neck to
neck in their bid to be the next big thing after Sauvignon Blanc; perfectly
suited is the South Island's Central Otago, with
its granitic soils and continental climate, and the pebbly Brightwater area
near Nelson. While
Australia's Rieslings tend to be full-bodied & dry, the Kiwis are more
inclined to be lighter bodied, more ethereal and sometimes off-dry; Alsace
plays Mosel if you