Love in a cold climate: Three European rieslings to try

Nowhere else on the planet can rival Germany's coldest regions for riesling.
Nowhere else on the planet can rival Germany's coldest regions for riesling. Photo: Shutterstock

Australia is one of the world's leading riesling nations but, as good as our wines can be, the world of riesling is much wider and deeper. Nowhere else on the planet can rival Germany's coldest regions, for example. Germany's wonders from the Mosel, Saar and Nahe must be experienced to be believed. Alsace offers a slightly different spectrum of richness and aroma. The colder the climate, the more aromatic the wine, the higher the acidity and the more likely it is to have a little residual sweetness. "Trocken" doesn't always mean totally dry, but refers to the way the wine tastes in the mouth, a function of pH and sugar-acid balance.

Albert Mann Cuvee Albert Riesling 2016, Alsace $53 

Score 93

A delicious wine, typical of its region, with smoky struck-flint aromas overlying bright, crisp citrus/floral fruit, the palate quite generously flavoured and rich with spritely acidity and a tickle of sweetness, all coming together with harmony at the finish. Screw-cap; 12.8 per cent alcohol.

Wagner Stempel Riesling Gutswein Trocken 2017.
Wagner Stempel Riesling Gutswein Trocken 2017. 

Ageing? Drink now and for 10 years.

Stockists include Annandale Cellars & Carrington Hotel, Katoomba (NSW); Plonk (ACT); Cloudwine & Prince Wine Store (Vic).

Wagner Stempel Riesling Gutswein Trocken 2017, Rheinhessen $39

Score 92

The basic "dry" riesling from a top producer, not bone-dry but close. Smoky reductive initial aromas clear to reveal fine flinty mineral, grapefruit pith and floral nuances, the palate fine and taut with bracing acidity and nervy, zesty mouth-feel. Don't serve it too cold. Screw-cap; 12 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to 10 years.

Stockists include Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW); Randall the Wine Merchant, South Melbourne (Vic).

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Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2017, Mosel Valley $44

Score 95

The Mosel produces the finest, most aromatic and most delicious off-dry rieslings in the world, and Loosen is a top producer. The colour is pale, the bouquet tight and gorgeously aromatic, flowery and charming. Its sweetness, fruit and acidity come together in a precision palate with energy, line and refinement. Screw-cap; 8 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now and for 10 years.

Stockists include Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW); Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne (Vic).