Grapevine Archive for Saar
Wine journalists, like Masters of Wine, do not always agree about which wines to recommend, but a distinguished list, including Matthew Jukes, Jane MacQuitty, Jancis Robinson, Anthony Rose and The Wine Gang have recently praised The Society’s Saar Riesling. Most recently David Williams made it his Best Buy for Summer in The Observer Food Monthly.
“This racy German riesling from vineyards around the Saar tributary of the Mosel was made for wasting (but not wasted) afternoons in the garden. Low in alcohol (11%) but high in flavour, strong in acidity but soft and generous as a sweet ripe peach.”
We select and blend it each year with Annegret Reh and her winemaker Wolfgang Mertes from the von Kesselstatt estate – which has an almost unrivalled clutch of top-quality vineyards in the region to make our job more interesting.
The von Kesselstatt estate has a history of more than 660 years, and was bought by Gunther Reh in 1978. Annagret has since taken the important decision to concentrate on her very best sites, 36 hectares in all, reducing yields and only using indigenous yeasts, ensuring vineyards keep their personality.
Our Saar Riesling varies with the vintage, sometimes including grapes from Scharzhofberg, sometimes Wiltinger Gottesfuss and Braunfels, sometimes Oberemmeler Agritiusberg and the excellent but less well-known Niedermenniger Herrenberg.
The wine is just off-dry, sweetness (4), and in fact drier than in earlier vintages as grapes have been beautifully ripe in recent years, but the refreshing balance of a little sweetness and natural acidity makes it delicious both with food or on its own. With only 11% alcohol it leaves the head clear and spirit refreshed.
Well worth £8.95, in fact.
This wine also won its category in this year’s Wine Champions blind tastings. All the winners are revealed here. There will also be an offer of 2012 German Rieslings in July. The 2012 harvest was excellent and rewarding though quantities are down. The wines have lovely freshness, balance and length of flavour. Watch this space!