Cabernet Sauvignon, Germany
Its original home is Bordeaux, where it is the dominant grape on the left bank, Medoc and Graves. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and with small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the New World, it is both blended and made as a straight varietal. Excellent wines are also produced in the Napa Valley and Chile's Maipo Valley. The grapes are thick-skinned providing the characteristic high tannins and deep colour. The Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to show fragrant cassis, herbaceous, full-bodied with high acid.
Germany is fully capable of producing some of the world's great white wines. One hundred years ago the demand for and thus prices commanded for the wines from the finest vineyards in Piesport, Morcobrunn and Rudesheim rivalled the best wines from Bordeaux. Largely due to the lack of government regulation into the quality of wine output, Germany over the past century became known for producing sweet sugar-water wines at cheap costs, flooding the world market. This has had a negative effect on the perception of Germany wines worldwide, but rest assured we only choose to stock Germany wines of high quality.
The Riesling grape with all its versatility is the main grape variety, and whilst many countries make Riesling, none can match the mouth-watering freshness and supreme delicacy achieved in a Mosel Kabinett from a top producer. Germany dry Rieslings as a rule tend to to be very graceful and elegant as compared to Rieslings from other countries, with an emphasis on finesse, not power. Standout producers such as Robert Weil make the headlines, but Donnhoff, JL Wolf, A Christmann and Dr Loosen are too worth seeking out.
Another most interesting contribution from Germany was Eiswine (ice wine), which until the 1970s was a freak of nature, though is now carefully managed. To produce Eiswine, parcels of vines are left out exposed to the frost, and although the production cost is astronomical they remain very popular. Robust Pinot Blancs and Pinot Gris are also produced in the whites and Pinot Noir, referred to as Spätburgunder is also grown.
The climate in Germany is, for the most part, cool, the exception being in the Pfalz and in Baden. As a result, vineyards are carefully selected with good sunlight exposure a must. For example along the banks of the Mosel River, vines are only planted one side, as there isn't enough sunlight exposure to ripen grapes on the north-facing side.
Key regions include Mosel and Nahe where extraordinary Rieslings are produced.
It's back by popular demand! The ultimate debate in wine, Old World V New World. Two Master of Wines' going head to head on arguably the most controversial subject in wine, we have Alistair Cooper MW in the ... Learn More