What an incredible bottle of wine. Sybille Kuntz is better known for her dry than sweet styles, but this shows that she’s equally adept at both. This comes from mostly ungrafted vineyards planted in the 1920s in Niederberg-Helden. It’s an exotic wine all right, but the tropical fruit flavours of pineapple and mango are tempered by acidity and extract. A Riesling that lingers tantalisingly on the palate.
Don’t forget your corkscrewby Matt Walls
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everyday value?by Matt Walls
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.
Trocken roll: Riesling remixedby Matt Walls
2011 Von Hövel Oberemmeler Hütte Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer( £13.50, 8%, The Wine Society )
Saar Kabinett at its light and most pristine, this charming, floral, medium sweet Riesling is very delicate on the nose and tongue, with notes of apple and stone fruit, crunchy, Granny Smith acidity and all the fruit you’d expect from a warm vintage like 2011. Max von Kunow has taken over from his father, Eberhard, and there is a perceptible shift here towards a slightly drier style, but the quality of the wines remains as high as ever.