93

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

( €17.50, 12.5% )

The Riesling grapes that go into this cuvée come from a series of old vines sites in the Paul Valley close to the River Mosel. It’s another very assured performance, with a richness that’s almost remiscent of the Pfalz. Musky and faintly exotic, with lovely weight and density, sustained by tangy acidity. The balanced between slight sweetness and acidity is very well judged. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
95

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Auslese Feinherb, Mosel

( €39, 13% )

The best and oldest parcels on the Niederberg-Helden Einzellage are used to make this remarkable wine. It’s on the dry side for an Auslese, with 51.9 grams of sugar, with the concentration and slaty minerality beautifully entwined. Floral and appealingly honeyed, with notes of nectarine and ripe pear sustained by citrus- and pink grapefruit-like acidity

Drinking window: 2014-22Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
90

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Qualitätswein Trocken, Mosel

( €11.90, 12% )

Sourced from single vineyard sites in Kues, Kardinalsberg and Weisenstein, this is “only” the entry point wine from this excellent estate. It’s just off-dry, with 8.3 grams of sugar balanced by acidity and crisp, refeshing flavours of green apple and grapefruit. The perfect summer wine…in 2015.

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Germany, White, Riesling
95

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Mosel

( €25.50, 13% )

A late picked, yet “dry” style of Spätlese from the Niederberg-Helden, with remarkable concentration and persistence, underlining Sybille Kuntz’s reputation as one of the Mosel’s best producers. Rich and slightly savoury, with smoky minerality, some stone fruit sweetness, a hint of fennel and a poised, balanced, tapering finish. Exceptional winemaking. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling

Don’t forget your corkscrew

by Matt Walls
There’s a point at which you can tell that a passing interest in wine has turned into something more involved. You don’t notice it at the time; it’s not a...
90

2012 Steitz Grauer Burgunder Trocken, Rheinhessen

( £13.00, 13%, Chix and Buck )

You might be surprised to learn that Germany sells more Grauer Burgunder (aka Pinot Gris) in the UK than Riesling. The statistic is less depressing when you taste a wine like this soft, pear, fig and apple-like example from the Rheinhessen, however. A very appealing dry white with more acidity than is immediately apparent. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Germany, White, Pinot Gris/Grigio
93

2012 Darting Estate Dürkheimer Kabinett Riesling Trocken, Pfalz

( £9.49 down to £7.12, 12.5%, Marks & Spencer )

If your impression of German Riesling is that it tends to be sweet, try this off-dry number from one of the best names in the southerly Pfalz region. It’s very aromatic, with exotic, tropical fruit notes, a hint of carbon dioxide on the palate, lovely, crunchy, peach and apple fruit and bright, focused acidity. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
89

2012 Palatia Pinot Noir, Pfalz

( £8.99 down to £6.74, 13%, Marks & Spencer )

I’ve described this as the best value Pinot Noir in the UK before and I have no reason to change my mind, especially when it’s on a deal. It’s soft and fragrant with attractive strawberry fruit sweetness, supple tannins and fresh acidity. A hint of oak (from barrels, not staves) adds to the sense of a wine that is over-delivering. Well done, Gerd Stepp! If only Burgundy could do this under £9. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Germany, Red, Pinot Noir
88

2012 Loosen Brothers Grey Slate Dr L Reserve Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

( £9.99 down to £7.49, 10%, Waitrose )

This is a step up from Ernie Loosen’s widely available (and very drinkable) Dr L Riesling, made exclusively for Waitrose. The result is a classic Mosel Riesling, with sappy, sweet and sour flavours, notes of lemon and lime and a finely-judged interplay beween acidity, fruit and residual sugar. Long and refreshing. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Germany, White, Riesling
89

2011 Tanners Mosel Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

( £10.95, 11%, Tanners )

The supplier for Tanners’ impressive own-label Mosel Riesling Kabinett is none other than the Max Ferd. Richter winery, which is something of a coup. The result is delicious. It’s at the lower end of the sweetness scale (at 27 grams per litre), showing 11% alcohol and a comparatviely “dry” finish. Youthful and zingy, with a touch of carbon dioxide and racy, palate-tingling acidity. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Germany, White, Riesling

Everyday value?

by Matt Walls
Lined up against the wall in my hallway, they stood quietly like forlorn commuters queuing for a bus. These were not bottles to make a taster salivate. Why didn’t I...
91

2011 Leitz Rheingau Riesling Spätlese, Rheingau

( £12.99, 10%, Sainsbury's )

Made by the talented Johannes Leitz, this is a modern Rheingau Riesling from a very good vintage, with classic sweet and sour flavours of apple and stone fruit, 47 grams of sugar, some extra weight from lees contact and a long, crunchy finish. Very refreshing, despite the residual sugar. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling