Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

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Ian S
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Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#1 Post by Ian S » January 26th, 2020, 4:22 pm

I'm curious what the membership thinks. There are plenty of wines which are very fruit forward that still have structure, and will age wonderfully.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#2 Post by John Morris » January 26th, 2020, 5:18 pm

No. There are lots of traditionally made wines that are naturally fruity. In reds, I'm thinking zin/primitivo, Beaujolais, lots of Cotes du Rhones and other grenache/garnacha-based wines, Corbieres, dolcetto, barbera, Morellino di Scansano, Lambrusco. The list goes on.

I think where "modern" most suggests fruit forward is with wines that might not otherwise be so much that way -- cabernets, syrahs, etc. -- and where it takes some work in the cellar to achieve that.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#3 Post by PeterH » January 26th, 2020, 5:32 pm

Everyone has their own idea about what "modern" means in wine making, but I consider it primarily to apply to clean, science aided vinification.
I also think international standardization plays into the picture.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 26th, 2020, 5:43 pm

I like fruit. I don’t like modern. Or perhaps I should say - the debate remains open - postmodern.

;)

John and Peter nail the answer, IMHO.

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#5 Post by John Morris » January 26th, 2020, 5:56 pm

PeterH wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 5:32 pm
Everyone has their own idea about what "modern" means in wine making, but I consider it primarily to apply to clean, science aided vinification.
I also think international standardization plays into the picture.
I don't think Ian was asking for a definition of modern. Just whether for a wine to be fruit-forward it had to have been made with "modern" methods.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#6 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm

Merkelbach, the most traditional producer of Riesling in the Mosel, makes fruit forward wines. They age spectacularly well.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#7 Post by GregT » January 26th, 2020, 6:51 pm

Yeah I was thinking of Riesling generally. Had three last night and young Riesling is almost always fruity. If by "fruit forward" the OP means that the fruit is not only noticeable, but perhaps even dominant, then many wines are fruit forward that people here wouldn't consider modern. If you've tasted LdH when it's freshly fermented, it's pretty fruity. They don't release them for years, so most people here wouldn't consider them modern, but fruit is fruit.

And there's also expectation. John mentioned some good examples - people expect fruit in Zin and Garnacha and generally drink them young. Zin not so much but Garnacha has been made for many years in different styles, some considered "modern" and some not, but when first finished, it's pretty fruity.

After that comes aging in tank, barrel, or bottle and some wines remain fruity, others not so much. But in many cases, it really depends on when you open the bottle and drink the wine.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#8 Post by Cris Whetstone » January 26th, 2020, 7:29 pm

In my experience this completely depends on the expectations of the taster. I've been near people that will tell me the California wine we are tasting is very modern and then turn around and wax on about how great the new young big vintage Beaujolais they have tasted are. Those situations give me whiplash.

It's a definite no for me. It's more about age than anything. It can also be about vintage, region, grape, skin contact and cluster dropping among other things.

I can say the overlap of fruit forwardness and modern wine-making is much larger than it would be in what I think of as leaning more traditional. It's definitely not a rule though but it is more often used as a short cut to quick judgement.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#9 Post by John Morris » January 26th, 2020, 9:20 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm
Merkelbach, the most traditional producer of Riesling in the Mosel, makes fruit forward wines. They age spectacularly well.
GregT wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:51 pm
Yeah I was thinking of Riesling generally. Had three last night and young Riesling is almost always fruity.
It's hard to think of a sweet riesling that isn't fruity!

And I'm not sure what modern versus traditional means in that category.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#10 Post by GregT » January 27th, 2020, 12:10 am

It doesn't. Isn't. Wouldn't. [drinkers.gif]
In my experience this completely depends on the expectations of the taster. I've been near people that will tell me the California wine we are tasting is very modern and then turn around and wax on about how great the new young big vintage Beaujolais they have tasted are. Those situations give me whiplash.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#11 Post by Robert Sand » January 27th, 2020, 2:07 am

John Morris wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 9:20 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm
Merkelbach, the most traditional producer of Riesling in the Mosel, makes fruit forward wines. They age spectacularly well.
GregT wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:51 pm
Yeah I was thinking of Riesling generally. Had three last night and young Riesling is almost always fruity.
It's hard to think of a sweet riesling that isn't fruity!

And I'm not sure what modern versus traditional means in that category.
Not all Rieslings are sweet - in fact not even the majority (outside Germany)

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#12 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 27th, 2020, 3:11 am

That’s not at all what John was saying.

The Merkelbach brothers make almost exclusively sweet Riesling.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#13 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 27th, 2020, 4:49 am

Apropos to the OP:

https://www.farrvintners.com/blog.php?blog=270
2016 is really a perfect modern vintage. The wines have the fresh acidity of a cooler vintage, but with the purity and ripeness of fruit akin to 2010 or 2005. The tannins are more refined than in any vintage I have tasted in Bordeaux – persistent and plentiful but fine and superbly integrated. The result is a set of wines that are harmonious and should have long, open drinking windows. The fact that winemakers have moved away from heavy extraction, late picking and high alcohols adds to their quality – these are wines you want to keep going back to rather than being overwhelmed by a single glass.

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#14 Post by Howard Cooper » January 27th, 2020, 5:38 am

Ian S wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 4:22 pm
I'm curious what the membership thinks. There are plenty of wines which are very fruit forward that still have structure, and will age wonderfully.
No. I have had many wines from all over the world that are traditionally made but have plenty of fruit. A few examples would be Ridge Geyserville, Ducru, Montrose, Hudelot-Noellat, Clerget, Pibarnon, Produttori, Pepe, etc.

Even my very favorite Burgundy producer, Jacky Truchot, who really stands for traditionally made wines, made wines full of very beautiful, unbelievably pure fruit.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#15 Post by Rudi Finkler » January 27th, 2020, 8:59 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 5:38 am
Ian S wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 4:22 pm
I'm curious what the membership thinks. There are plenty of wines which are very fruit forward that still have structure, and will age wonderfully.
No. I have had many wines from all over the world that are traditionally made but have plenty of fruit. A few examples would be Ridge Geyserville, Ducru, Montrose, Hudelot-Noellat, Clerget, Pibarnon, Produttori, Pepe, etc.

Even my very favorite Burgundy producer, Jacky Truchot, who really stands for traditionally made wines, made wines full of very beautiful, unbelievably pure fruit.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#16 Post by John Morris » February 11th, 2020, 2:24 pm

Robert Sand wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 2:07 am
John Morris wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 9:20 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm
Merkelbach, the most traditional producer of Riesling in the Mosel, makes fruit forward wines. They age spectacularly well.
GregT wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:51 pm
Yeah I was thinking of Riesling generally. Had three last night and young Riesling is almost always fruity.
It's hard to think of a sweet riesling that isn't fruity!

And I'm not sure what modern versus traditional means in that category.
Not all Rieslings are sweet - in fact not even the majority (outside Germany)
Perhaps, but we were discussing sweet rieslings.

In fact, the majority of rieslings made in Germany are dry, or very close to it. Sweet German riesling is mainly exported. Few Germans like it.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#17 Post by K John Joseph » February 11th, 2020, 3:57 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 5:38 am
Ian S wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 4:22 pm
I'm curious what the membership thinks. There are plenty of wines which are very fruit forward that still have structure, and will age wonderfully.
No. I have had many wines from all over the world that are traditionally made but have plenty of fruit. A few examples would be Ridge Geyserville, Ducru, Montrose, Hudelot-Noellat, Clerget, Pibarnon, Produttori, Pepe, etc.

Even my very favorite Burgundy producer, Jacky Truchot, who really stands for traditionally made wines, made wines full of very beautiful, unbelievably pure fruit.
Lol, you've been drinking french wines for too long if you think Ducru, Montrose, and Pibarnon are fruit forward. They have fruit, even lovely fruit, but I would not consider those wines "fruit forward." I think there are plenty of bojo, granche, barbera and others in which fruit is the star of the show right up front. The dominant front man. But it's hard to have any of the second growths next to even any of the "traditional" Napa cabs and talk "fruit forward". Then again, perhaps that means I've been drinking Cali wines for too long because I don't think Ducru, Montrose, and Pibarnon are fruit forward (I do like them, though!).
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#18 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 11th, 2020, 4:01 pm

What does “fruit forward” mean?
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#19 Post by John Morris » February 11th, 2020, 4:45 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:01 pm
What does “fruit forward” mean?
I can't put it much better than this:
K John Joseph wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 3:57 pm
I think there are plenty of bojo, granche, barbera and others in which fruit is the star of the show right up front. The dominant front man.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#20 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 11th, 2020, 5:02 pm

John Morris wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:45 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:01 pm
What does “fruit forward” mean?
I can't put it much better than this:
K John Joseph wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 3:57 pm
I think there are plenty of bojo, granche, barbera and others in which fruit is the star of the show right up front. The dominant front man.
Wait, are you equating “forward” with “front”? And “dominant”?

Counselor, that’s quite a stretch. I think the younger John needs to clarify.

PS. Younger John loves 2005 Cos d’Estournel, so one can surmise that his definition of fruit forward may in fact mean modern.

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#21 Post by Howard Cooper » February 11th, 2020, 8:08 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:01 pm
What does “fruit forward” mean?
Not a clue. I guess it means wines with lots of oak. It can also apparent mean highly acidic wines like Barbera and Beaujolais but cannot include Bordeaux or Burgundy. Apparently, Jadot’s Beaujolais have more fruit than their Burgundies. Who knew.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#22 Post by PeterH » February 11th, 2020, 8:48 pm

I think of Loring as a prime example of fruit forward. The fruit is so pure and in your face it is almost painful. The wines do age just fine.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#23 Post by Brady Daniels » February 11th, 2020, 8:53 pm

When I think modern wines, I think Parkerized wines, low acid, ample oak, highly polished, and gobs of fruit.

Fruit forward is probably a characteristic, but not the only one.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#24 Post by PeterH » February 11th, 2020, 8:56 pm

Oak is not fruit, I think.
High acidity accentuates fresh fruit aromas and flavors.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#25 Post by Lee Short » February 11th, 2020, 9:18 pm

PeterH wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Oak is not fruit, I think.
High acidity accentuates fresh fruit aromas and flavors.
Exactly, Peter. I can think of a number of wines that are fruit forward but nowhere near "modern." The first couple that jump to mind are the Briceland Alderpoint Pinot, and the Enderle & Moll Bundsandstein.

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#26 Post by Rudi Finkler » February 11th, 2020, 10:22 pm

John Morris wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 2:24 pm
...
In fact, the majority of rieslings made in Germany are dry, or very close to it. Sweet German riesling is mainly exported. Few Germans like it.
I think this is just a rumor. Most people I know do not like dry Rieslings, me included. And the latest statistics show that most Germans still prefer off dry and sweet wines.

https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/fileadmin/ ... _03_08.pdf
Last edited by Rudi Finkler on February 12th, 2020, 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#27 Post by Chris Seiber » February 11th, 2020, 10:50 pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 7:29 pm

It's a definite no for me. It's more about age than anything. It can also be about vintage, region, grape, skin contact and cluster dropping among other things.

I can say the overlap of fruit forwardness and modern wine-making is much larger than it would be in what I think of as leaning more traditional. It's definitely not a rule though but it is more often used as a short cut to quick judgement.
Cris says it very well.

Terms like "fruit forward" and "modern" are highly subjective, and on Wine Berserkers, often meant in at least a mildly negative way. There is a lot of overlap in the way those terms are used here, but not every wine that might be called fruit forward is also modern, and not every wine which would be considered modern is fruit forward.

One interesting example is Valdicava Brunello. Their vineyard is located in a microclimate in Montalcino which produces great ripeness and concentration to the fruit. Which causes many people to label/deride them as being "modern," particularly if they drink the wines before they have matured, and yet in actuality, the winemaking actually doesn't have most of the hallmarks of what is considered modern Brunello. As Antonio Galloni wrote:
Vincenzo Abbruzzese is one of the most outspoken, passionate growers in Montalcino. His beautifully tended vineyards yield some of the richest wines in the region; and that’s where most of the focus is – on the vineyards. The winery itself is unremarkable and is equipped with just the bare essentials. All of the wines are aged in large, neutral oak; what comes through is Abbruzzese’s commitment to low yields, sustainable farming and non-interventionalist winemaking.

. . .

Valdicava has been somewhat of a controversial property over the last few years. The Brunellos are typically very concentrated and dense when young, which can make them hard to assess. Make no mistake about it though; these are very serious wines whose only difficulty lies in giving them a few more years in bottle than the vast majority of Brunellos. A vertical tasting last year going back to 1988 published on http://www.erobertparker.com showed that the Valdicava Brunellos age exquisitely.

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#28 Post by Wes Barton » February 12th, 2020, 1:22 am

John Morris wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:45 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:01 pm
What does “fruit forward” mean?
I can't put it much better than this:
K John Joseph wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 3:57 pm
I think there are plenty of bojo, granche, barbera and others in which fruit is the star of the show right up front. The dominant front man.
Yes, that's the obvious, literal meaning, so I'd assume that's what people mean.

Various yeast strains create some degree or other of fruity esters. In some regions the native yeasts are fairly neutral. That's a term. In others, they create more fruity character. And some inoculation methods predate commercial isolates. You can browse a winemaking supply store's yeast selections to see that many are selected for the aroma/flavor compounds they produce, some are selected for being "neutral", while others are selected for other reasons (to deal with various issues). So, intentionally or not, the yeasts present in the ferm can make a wine more fruity.

Other grape variety or clone specific compounds may be, or perceived to be, more fruity.

You can certainly pick before full flavor development.

Concentration level would be a factor. Over-cropped. Skin-to-juice ratio (skin thickness and berry size). Shrivel. Bleeding off. Efficiency of maceration. Stuff like that.

Then you have various flaws that can dull fruit expression.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#29 Post by John Morris » February 12th, 2020, 6:37 am

Rudi Finkler wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:22 pm
John Morris wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 2:24 pm
...
In fact, the majority of rieslings made in Germany are dry, or very close to it. Sweet German riesling is mainly exported. Few Germans like it.
I think this is just a rumor. Most people I know do not like dry Rieslings, me included. And the latest statistics show that most Germans still prefer off dry and sweet wines.

https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/fileadmin/ ... _03_08.pdf
That certainly hasn't been my experience in Germany. Do you think Germans who take a big interest in wine like sweet riesling? Or is are sweet wines more popular in the mass market?
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#30 Post by K John Joseph » February 12th, 2020, 8:23 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 5:02 pm
PS. Younger John loves 2005 Cos d’Estournel, so one can surmise that his definition of fruit forward may in fact mean modern.
Well that is true, I suppose, and yet comparing an 05 Cos with an 09 Le Dome suggests that even among Bordelais, "modern" and "fruit forward" are subject to massive differences in interpretation.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#31 Post by kyledorsey » February 12th, 2020, 8:42 am

I think describing something as modern is useful only in regions with producers that depart from broad stylistic norms for their region. It is useful to describe a Barolo producer that uses roto fermentation and barriques as modern since that delineates it from typical examples. Often, then, describing something as modern is more a technical statement than a statement about fruitiness, though that is often a goal. In a region such as Mosel which has a history of highly technical winemaking, the distinction is not especially meaningful.

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#32 Post by Rudi Finkler » February 12th, 2020, 9:01 am

John Morris wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:37 am
Rudi Finkler wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:22 pm
John Morris wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 2:24 pm
...
In fact, the majority of rieslings made in Germany are dry, or very close to it. Sweet German riesling is mainly exported. Few Germans like it.
I think this is just a rumor. Most people I know do not like dry Rieslings, me included. And the latest statistics show that most Germans still prefer off dry and sweet wines.

https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/fileadmin/ ... _03_08.pdf
That certainly hasn't been my experience in Germany. Do you think Germans who take a big interest in wine like sweet riesling? Or is are sweet wines more popular in the mass market?
Astonishingly, the study of the Geisenheim University shows that young Germans drink significantly less dry wines than people of my age – see page 38. That suggests that off-dry and sweet white wines are very popular in the mass market. Apart from that, there obviously are distinct regional differences. In the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region for instance, the interest in traditional Riesling seems to be higher than in other regions.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#33 Post by Andrew Morris » February 12th, 2020, 11:45 am

Lee Short wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 9:18 pm
PeterH wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Oak is not fruit, I think.
High acidity accentuates fresh fruit aromas and flavors.
Exactly, Peter. I can think of a number of wines that are fruit forward but nowhere near "modern." The first couple that jump to mind are the Briceland Alderpoint Pinot, and the Enderle & Moll Bundsandstein.
Lee,

Thanks for the thinking of us.

It is worth mentioning that all things being equal, lower alcohol allows fruit expression, or, perhaps more correctly, higher alcohol suppresses the perception of fruit.
Andrew Morris
Briceland Vineyards - Humboldt's Finest Since 1985

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John Morris
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#34 Post by John Morris » February 13th, 2020, 8:50 pm

On the other hand, higher alcohol tends to correlate with riper fruit, which may seem fruitier to many people than less ripe fruit.
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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#35 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » February 13th, 2020, 9:42 pm

Rudi Finkler wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 9:01 am
John Morris wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:37 am
Rudi Finkler wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:22 pm


I think this is just a rumor. Most people I know do not like dry Rieslings, me included. And the latest statistics show that most Germans still prefer off dry and sweet wines.

https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/fileadmin/ ... _03_08.pdf
That certainly hasn't been my experience in Germany. Do you think Germans who take a big interest in wine like sweet riesling? Or is are sweet wines more popular in the mass market?
Astonishingly, the study of the Geisenheim University shows that young Germans drink significantly less dry wines than people of my age – see page 38. That suggests that off-dry and sweet white wines are very popular in the mass market. Apart from that, there obviously are distinct regional differences. In the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region for instance, the interest in traditional Riesling seems to be higher than in other regions.
I think you are classifying the results incorrectly. In most cases, dry wines are the most common choice. The results could easily be described as "most Germans prefer dry or off-dry wines" rather than the way you describe them as sweet or off-dry being preferred.
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Paul

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Re: Does fruit forward wine always mean it's "Modern" in style?

#36 Post by Andrew Morris » February 14th, 2020, 12:10 pm

John Morris wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 8:50 pm
On the other hand, higher alcohol tends to correlate with riper fruit, which may seem fruitier to many people than less ripe fruit.
Yes. As fruit ripens, and alc goes up, it works both for and against the perception for fruit. It is a bit yin/yang...
Andrew Morris
Briceland Vineyards - Humboldt's Finest Since 1985

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