How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

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David Mc
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How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#1 Post by David Mc » September 12th, 2019, 2:42 pm

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#2 Post by Paul McCourt » September 12th, 2019, 3:01 pm

Interesting. Thanks.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#3 Post by G. Bienstock » September 12th, 2019, 3:43 pm

Goldtröpfchen, ja!
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#4 Post by J. Rock » September 12th, 2019, 4:16 pm

Interesting article.

I just had some 2018 Schloss Lieser Goldtröpfchen Spat last weekend and it was really great. Maybe I'll open another bottle this weekend after reading this nice article.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#5 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 12th, 2019, 5:18 pm

That was very nice. Not exactly educational in any meaningful way, but a pleasant, engaging read.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#6 Post by Adam Frisch » September 12th, 2019, 8:39 pm

My only beef with Rieslings are that trocken doesn't actually always mean it's dry. Pisses me off. If they could just fix that one little thing, I think we'd forgive them their overly complex classifications. Get it straight, Germany/Alsace: I want bone dry Rieslings. That means RS below 0.5g/l. OK?
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#7 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 12th, 2019, 10:33 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 8:39 pm
My only beef with Rieslings are that trocken doesn't actually always mean it's dry. Pisses me off. If they could just fix that one little thing, I think we'd forgive them their overly complex classifications. Get it straight, Germany/Alsace: I want bone dry Rieslings. That means RS below 0.5g/l. OK?
What? No.

Universally everywhere in Europe "dry" means RS below 4 g/l by law and this seems to be the case virtually everywhere else - I haven't seen a single producer calling their wines "medium-dry" if the wine is 5 g/l in residual sugar. However, basically all the countries allow RS to be 2 g/l above the acidity up to 10 g/l, so the wine is technically dry if it has up to 9 g/l RS as long as the acidity is above 7.0 g/l. That's why a "Trocken" can have up residual up to 9,9 g/l. And most German Rieslings taste dry even at 10 g/l, if the acidity is in balance with the sugar. OTOH, if a German Riesling is below 0.5 g/l RS, it often tends to taste rather austere and unbalanced, especially if it comes from Mosel or Rheingau. Of course there are numerous examples to point the contrary, but still, based on my my experiences, this seems to be the case as a larger trend. And I'm a person who enjoys dry wines.

The bigger problem is with Alsace, where they don't have any indications of sweetness - there a Riesling can be bone-dry or medium-sweet and the label says not a single word about it. I wouldn't call that overly complex, but instead too lax. Fortunately the wines tend to have their (somewhat vague) numerical sweetness value of 1-7 in the back label nowadays.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#8 Post by Adam Frisch » September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am

I suppose that's my problem then. If RS can be labeled as dry and still have 4g/l or more, then we have a fundamental problem. That is crazy sweet. We need a new official classification, Bone Dry in that case. Bone Dry: less than 1g/l.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#9 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 13th, 2019, 3:20 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am
I suppose that's my problem then. If RS can be labeled as dry and still have 4g/l or more, then we have a fundamental problem. That is crazy sweet. We need a new official classification, Bone Dry in that case. Bone Dry: less than 1g/l.
Crazy sweet? An oft-cited number is that a normal human tongue can't reliably detect a difference of 3 g/l residual sugar in a wine. Furthermore, most dry red and white wines hover in the range of 1-4 g/l, since not all sugars are fermentable to normal yeast strains and not all yeast strains are capable of fermenting to complete dryness. Even many "bone-dry" Brut Nature Champagnes tend to have 1-2 g/l RS.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#10 Post by Robert Dentice » September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am
I suppose that's my problem then. If RS can be labeled as dry and still have 4g/l or more, then we have a fundamental problem. That is crazy sweet. We need a new official classification, Bone Dry in that case. Bone Dry: less than 1g/l.
The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#11 Post by IlkkaL » September 13th, 2019, 3:42 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am
I suppose that's my problem then. If RS can be labeled as dry and still have 4g/l or more, then we have a fundamental problem. That is crazy sweet. We need a new official classification, Bone Dry in that case. Bone Dry: less than 1g/l.
I'm might be wrong but it really seems like you are confusing grams and percentages here. Almost all dry wines have at least a couple of grams of sugar per liter.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#12 Post by Adam Frisch » September 13th, 2019, 3:58 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.
Driven by frustration, I'm about to become a disappointment to that crowd then, because this year I'm making a Riesling that is just that. Later pick, bone dry. Might be a failure, but an attempt at getting away from R's historically dogmatic vinification. Not even sure I want to use a Hock-bottle. This is the new world after all and we can do things different. [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
Last edited by Adam Frisch on September 13th, 2019, 4:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#13 Post by Robert Dentice » September 13th, 2019, 4:18 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:58 am
Robert Dentice wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.
Driven by frustration, I'm about to become a disappointment to that crowd then, because this year I'm making a Riesling that is just that. Late pick, bone dry. Might be a failure, but an attempt at getting away from R's historically dogmatic and nostalgic vinification. Not even sure I want to use a Hock-bottle. This is the new world after all and we can do as we please. [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
Seriously best of luck! The problem with new world riesling is they can't get the freakish acid numbers / PH / RS combinations that create the beautiful tension I love in German Riesling. I have had every great U.S. riesling from the Finger Lakes, California, Oregon etc and they are to be kind just a different wine than German rieslings, frankly as they should be since they are not made in Germany.
Last edited by Robert Dentice on September 13th, 2019, 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#14 Post by Markus S » September 13th, 2019, 4:25 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am
I suppose that's my problem then. If RS can be labeled as dry and still have 4g/l or more, then we have a fundamental problem. That is crazy sweet.
"Crazy sweet"? Not sure in what universe, but that is quite dry. If you ate food without any sugar, you would spit it out and call it unbalanced. Same with wine.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#15 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 4:26 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:58 am
Robert Dentice wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.
Driven by frustration, I'm about to become a disappointment to that crowd then, because this year I'm making a Riesling that is just that. Later pick, bone dry. Might be a failure, but an attempt at getting away from R's historically dogmatic vinification. Not even sure I want to use a Hock-bottle. This is the new world after all and we can do things different. [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
I hope the wine is great, and would love to try it, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding of Riesling, and what it can be - from totally dry to amazingly, and deliciously sweet.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#16 Post by DanielP » September 13th, 2019, 4:50 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:58 am
Robert Dentice wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.
Driven by frustration, I'm about to become a disappointment to that crowd then, because this year I'm making a Riesling that is just that. Later pick, bone dry. Might be a failure, but an attempt at getting away from R's historically dogmatic vinification. Not even sure I want to use a Hock-bottle. This is the new world after all and we can do things different. [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
Speaking of dogmatic vinification...
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#17 Post by Adam Frisch » September 13th, 2019, 4:51 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:26 am
I hope the wine is great, and would love to try it, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding of Riesling, and what it can be - from totally dry to amazingly, and deliciously sweet.
No doubt - I keep fumbling in the Riesling world, but loving the grape. So far, I can count on one hand the dry Rieslings I've had that truly felt dry to me. Last week there was a Trimbach. Googling says it has 2.4g/L RS, pH 3.09 and a TA 7.82g/L.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#18 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 13th, 2019, 5:25 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:51 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:26 am
I hope the wine is great, and would love to try it, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding of Riesling, and what it can be - from totally dry to amazingly, and deliciously sweet.
No doubt - I keep fumbling in the Riesling world, but loving the grape. So far, I can count on one hand the dry Rieslings I've had that truly felt dry to me. Last week there was a Trimbach. Googling says it has 2.4g/L RS, pH 3.09 and a TA 7.82g/L.
2.4 g/l feels truly dry, but 4 g/l is crazy sweet? [scratch.gif]

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 5:26 am

Trimbach does make dry Riesling. I am a huge fan.

Bone dry Riesling can come off as quite severe. The acidity in some vintages makes dry Riesling a struggle for some palates. Climate change certainly ameliorates that, but balance still has to be judged from year to year. Then there is the question of what the yeast wants to do. Many Riesling makers just allow the fermentation to take its course, and accept the end result - bone dry or not. As mentioned above, I really like dry Riesling, but the German Feinherb style is one I am gravitating to. You would consider it much too sweet, but I love the balance, and how it works with food.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#20 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 13th, 2019, 5:27 am

Right. Trimbach doesn’t make Riesling at .5 g/l and below AFAIK. Even what is perceived as “bone” dry.

Do you intend to force your fermentation to reach this artificial level?

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#21 Post by J. Rock » September 13th, 2019, 9:36 am

I agree with the last few posts. The RS doesn't necessarily indicate the perceived level of dryness of the wine, because the perceived dryness largely depends on the level of acidity. It's the same reason that a Brut Nature Champagne doesn't always taste as dry as as some Bruts, despite having a lower dosage.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#22 Post by Adam Frisch » September 13th, 2019, 9:57 am

IlkkaL wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:42 am

I'm might be wrong but it really seems like you are confusing grams and percentages here. Almost all dry wines have at least a couple of grams of sugar per liter.
I might actually be. My apologies, just checked the reports. All my wines went to less than 0.4% not 0.4g/L. I confused the two.
Last edited by Adam Frisch on September 13th, 2019, 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#23 Post by Howard Cooper » September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:58 am
Robert Dentice wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.
Driven by frustration, I'm about to become a disappointment to that crowd then, because this year I'm making a Riesling that is just that. Later pick, bone dry. Might be a failure, but an attempt at getting away from R's historically dogmatic vinification. Not even sure I want to use a Hock-bottle. This is the new world after all and we can do things different. [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#24 Post by Adam Frisch » September 13th, 2019, 1:11 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
That was anecdotal only, I've posted before in other Riesling threads on how I find it very hard to find truly dry ones. Like here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=161241&start=50
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#25 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 13th, 2019, 1:40 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:58 am
Robert Dentice wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:40 am

The beauty of German Riesling is the interplay/tension of acidity and sweetness. The RS number means very little in and of itself if you don't know the acidity. I think it would be very sad if winemakers intentionally tried to make a wine with the RS levels you are talking about.
Driven by frustration, I'm about to become a disappointment to that crowd then, because this year I'm making a Riesling that is just that. Later pick, bone dry. Might be a failure, but an attempt at getting away from R's historically dogmatic vinification. Not even sure I want to use a Hock-bottle. This is the new world after all and we can do things different. [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
I don’t think Adam’s discussion here is exciting the Riesling lovers, the opposite if he is trying to sell his wine.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#26 Post by Howard Cooper » September 13th, 2019, 2:04 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 1:40 pm

I don’t think Adam’s discussion here is exciting the Riesling lovers, the opposite if he is trying to sell his wine.
To be honest, his posts here contrasting his Rieslings to Rieslings made by everyone else in the world even have me wondering if all his anti-Chardonnay posts are about furthering his winery. Hard to know, but I must admit for at least a while I will be reading his posts wondering what his motivations are, esp. since all the ones I have read are trashing the wines of others. I admit that I have only read his posts on these two threads and he may have posts in a lot of other threads that are totally different.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#27 Post by Adam Frisch » September 13th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Sigh. This board.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#28 Post by Michae1 P0wers » September 13th, 2019, 3:20 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 1:11 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
That was anecdotal only, I've posted before in other Riesling threads on how I find it very hard to find truly dry ones. Like here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=161241&start=50
Adam, Out of curiosity, what dry German rieslings have you tried to come to your conclusion? Vintage could be a factor as well, if you've had mostly softer vintages. I find the idea that German trocken riesling isn't dry enough difficult to reconcile with the wines I've had. They've been amongst the driest and most acidic wines I've ever consumed. That's based solely on my perception though, no idea about actual RS numbers. Personally I tend to prefer kabinett or feinherb riesling (though I should probably explore GGs a bit more to get a better understanding of the style). I tend to drink riesling with SE Asian foods most often and the sweetness seems to work well in that context as long as it's kept in check with high acidity.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#29 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 4:12 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 1:40 pm
I don’t think Adam’s discussion here is exciting the Riesling lovers, the opposite if he is trying to sell his wine.
I will not say that I am excited. I will try just about nay Riesling though. I do think, based on what he has said, that he has it all wrong, but who knows. Perhaps he knows better than hundreds, if not thousands of vintners who have made outstanding Riesling over the last 50 years.

But "later pick, bone dry" sounds like a recipe for an alcoholic train wreck.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#30 Post by bob parsons alberta » September 13th, 2019, 6:25 pm

Good points here. In my experience, you like to have a dry riesling, have an Oz one from Pewsey Vale [cheers.gif] .

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#31 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 13th, 2019, 6:29 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:12 pm
Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 1:40 pm
I don’t think Adam’s discussion here is exciting the Riesling lovers, the opposite if he is trying to sell his wine.
I will not say that I am excited. I will try just about nay Riesling though. I do think, based on what he has said, that he has it all wrong, but who knows. Perhaps he knows better than hundreds, if not thousands of vintners who have made outstanding Riesling over the last 50 years.

But "later pick, bone dry" sounds like a recipe for an alcoholic train wreck.
Not exciting was my point.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#32 Post by Ian S » September 13th, 2019, 8:07 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am
We need a new official classification, Bone Dry in that case. Bone Dry: less than 1g/l.
Knochentrocken! Can't decide if it's got a great ring to it, or if I want to giggle my ass off when saying it. [snort.gif]
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#33 Post by Claus Jeppesen » September 14th, 2019, 1:14 am

A bone dry Trocken can easily contain 4-5 g/l. Acid over
7 g/l.
And most of them are best after 15-20 years in the cellar
Did you try that, Adam?
Does Thiese still use the perception of sweetness scale?
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#34 Post by Ian Alper » September 14th, 2019, 9:20 am

Ian S. - I had not tried saying it out loud until you pointed that out! Thanks, that did give me a laugh!

Great read. While I appreciate the technical debate that followed, I was surprised no one mentioned the wonderful story told, with the book, the journey, the old man and his kids, and the bottle. I love stuff like that!

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#35 Post by Mark Henderson » September 14th, 2019, 2:36 pm

You've created an interesting debate Adam which links to the passion that many on this board (if not the general public) feel about Riesling.
I've historically been in the off-dry Riesling camp with a love of Mosel kabinett and spätlese styles which still make up the majority of my Riesling cellar; however, I have been delving more and more into drier styles as time goes on (Wittmann is one producer that I have been enjoying and tucking into the cellar). Crucially for my palate though is the need for fruit richness: fruit sweetness would be another term for this yet I'm not talking about rs per se. For me, that richness is necessary to balance that incredibly bright acidity (and low ph) of drier Rieslings, putting flesh on the spine of the wine both for immediate drinking and for future maturity. For me, it's never about the numbers, but about the balance.

Here in New Zealand; while we have wine regions stretching more than 1500km north to south, we are inherently a cool-climate country. Off-dry Rieslings have been the way that winemakers created balance earlier on. Around 15-20 years ago, a number of producers began dabbling with dry styles and touted their ageing potential. Most have turned out to be train wrecks with age, showing shrill, paint-stripper acidity with the fruit having fallen away. I remember a retail tasting with a winemaker who espoused an utterly bone dry style of Riesling and it was just so severe, that it was actually difficult to drink.

More recently, vine age, better viticulture, management of crop loads and climate change are all leading to far more successful dry styles here, with that fruit richness and intensity creating a lovely synergy with the racy acidity. Mind you, I'm still reluctant to cellar local dry versions and am relying on friends dragging out occasional bottles to see if I should change my stance?

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#36 Post by Mattstolz » September 14th, 2019, 6:48 pm

I'm just curious if anyone has tried Eva Fricke's wines. Ive gotten a couple offers for them but don't know much about them. Thoughts?

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#37 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 14th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Ian S wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 8:07 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 3:10 am
We need a new official classification, Bone Dry in that case. Bone Dry: less than 1g/l.
Knochentrocken! Can't decide if it's got a great ring to it, or if I want to giggle my ass off when saying it. [snort.gif]
Giggle away. We should not be creating new categories for a guy who is ITB, but clearly does not understand Riesling.
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#38 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 14th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 6:48 pm
I'm just curious if anyone has tried Eva Fricke's wines. Ive gotten a couple offers for them but don't know much about them. Thoughts?
I know a few people whose palates I respect and who prefer dry Riesling who really like the wines, but personally they come off as somewhat shrill and I don’t really get it. I think you have to try for yourself.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#39 Post by IlkkaL » September 15th, 2019, 12:19 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 9:44 pm
Mattstolz wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 6:48 pm
I'm just curious if anyone has tried Eva Fricke's wines. Ive gotten a couple offers for them but don't know much about them. Thoughts?
I know a few people whose palates I respect and who prefer dry Riesling who really like the wines, but personally they come off as somewhat shrill and I don’t really get it. I think you have to try for yourself.
I enjoyed her 2013 Riesling Lorch a lot last year while being stuck at the Arlanda airport in Stockholm (fortunately they have a nice wine bar!). It was on the dry side most definitely with high, brisk acidity yet it was not one bit austere. Nicely minerally with deliciously tangy lime-driven fruit. A super energetic wine.
Last name = L u !V! !V! e

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#40 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 15th, 2019, 2:15 am

Mattstolz wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 6:48 pm
I'm just curious if anyone has tried Eva Fricke's wines. Ive gotten a couple offers for them but don't know much about them. Thoughts?
I've had a few. The regular Rheingau Trocken isn't particularly interesting, but the higher-tier ones are. The style is lean and crisp, but more in the vein of "electric" than austere. Steely and mineral, as one'd expect from a Rheingau Riesling.

It's interesting that the part Fricke's vineyards are located - the westernmost extremes of Rheingau - is long past the bend of Rhine, thus basically in Mittelrhein wine region (and actually the vineyards lying on the opposite side of the river are Mittelrhein, not Rheingau), but since the vineyards are located in the administrative region of Hesse, they've been always considered to be part of the Rheingau wine region. From geological point of view, however, the westernmost reaches of Rheingau are similar to the Mittelrhein region, not as much to the greater Rheingau region located before the Rhine bend.
Last edited by Otto Forsberg on September 15th, 2019, 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#41 Post by Mattstolz » September 15th, 2019, 5:41 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 2:15 am
Mattstolz wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 6:48 pm
I'm just curious if anyone has tried Eva Fricke's wines. Ive gotten a couple offers for them but don't know much about them. Thoughts?
I've had a few. The regular Rheingau Trocken isn't particularly interesting, but the higher-tier ones are. The style is lean and crisp, but more in the vein of "electric" than austere. Steely as mineral, as one'd expect from a Rheingau Riesling.

It's interesting that the part Fricke's vineyards are located - the westernmost extremes of Rheingau - is long past the bend of Rhine, thus basically in Mittlerhein wine region (and actually the vineyards lying on the opposite side of the river are Mittelrhein, not Rheingau), but since the vineyards are located in the administrative region of Hesse, they've been always considered to be part of the Rheingau wine region. From geological point of view, however, the westernmost reaches of Rheingau are similar to the Mittlerhein region, not as much to the greater Rheingau region located before the Rhine bend.
that is pretty interesting. sounds like I would enjoy these. guess I better dig around for those offers again. haha thanks!

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#42 Post by Adam Frisch » September 17th, 2019, 1:58 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Giggle away. We should not be creating new categories for a guy who is ITB, but clearly does not understand Riesling.
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
Ha, I pay a higher yearly fee here (ITB) to be allowed to talk about winemaking, but nobody wants to be accused of being a shill. Me least of all. So I won't talk about that anymore and let the wines speak with their own voice eventually. [cheers.gif]

One last note on the subject:

Here in the New World we have the possibility to make low alcohol wines that don't have extreme acidity, something they can't easily do in the Old World. I have a hunch (which is all winemaking is, after all), which might turn out to be completely wrong, that by picking it just a tad later, at a potential abv of 13.5-14%, that the fruits will have developed a little more, moved away from green apples/citrus and into something more amber-fruited and maybe more complex. The acidity should have started to migrate towards (what I personally think is) the sweet spot for many wines, and that is the pH 3.3-3.6 region. I can not find any rational or learned reason, in theory, why the Riesling grape could not perform in this bracket as a dry wine - and not have to rely on sugar to balance that high acid.

pileon [cheers.gif]
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#43 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 17th, 2019, 2:23 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 17th, 2019, 1:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Giggle away. We should not be creating new categories for a guy who is ITB, but clearly does not understand Riesling.
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
I pay a higher yearly fee here (ITB) to be allowed to talk about winemaking, but nobody wants to be accused of being a shill. Me least of all. So I'll just shut up about it and let the wines speak with their own voice eventually. One last note on the subject:

Here in the New World we have the possibility to make low alcohol wines that don't have extreme acidity, something they can't easily do in the Old World. I have a hunch (which is all winemaking is, after all), which might turn out to be completely wrong, that by picking it just a tad later, at a potential abv of 13.5-14%, that the fruits will have developed a little more, moved away from green apples/citrus and into something more amber-fruited, perhaps more complex. The acidity should have started to migrate towards what I personally think is the sweet spot for many wines, and that is the pH 3.3-3.6 region. I can not find any rational or learned reason, in theory, why the Riesling grape could not perform in this bracket as a dry wine.

pileon [cheers.gif]
Good luck with complexity depending on your vine age and subsoil.

What you are describing though is roughly the technical parameters of Austrian Riesling but with your pH probably a little too high (esp at your higher range) not to produce a blowsy Riesling at that alcohol level. Global warming has not been kind to the balance of Rieslings coming even out of historically preferred Austrian sites due to alcohol levels above 13.5% or so IMO. I would google Austrian Riesling and pH and start reading a bit.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#44 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 17th, 2019, 10:15 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 17th, 2019, 1:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Giggle away. We should not be creating new categories for a guy who is ITB, but clearly does not understand Riesling.
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

So, your posts on this topic are commercial? About how you are doing drier than anyone else?
Ha, I pay a higher yearly fee here (ITB) to be allowed to talk about winemaking, but nobody wants to be accused of being a shill. Me least of all. So I won't talk about that anymore and let the wines speak with their own voice eventually. [cheers.gif]

One last note on the subject:

Here in the New World we have the possibility to make low alcohol wines that don't have extreme acidity, something they can't easily do in the Old World. I have a hunch (which is all winemaking is, after all), which might turn out to be completely wrong, that by picking it just a tad later, at a potential abv of 13.5-14%, that the fruits will have developed a little more, moved away from green apples/citrus and into something more amber-fruited and maybe more complex. The acidity should have started to migrate towards (what I personally think is) the sweet spot for many wines, and that is the pH 3.3-3.6 region. I can not find any rational or learned reason, in theory, why the Riesling grape could not perform in this bracket as a dry wine - and not have to rely on sugar to balance that high acid.

pileon [cheers.gif]
I've had some dry Rieslings from warm vintages grown in hot spots and Riesling really doesn't hide its alcohol well. 13,5% starts to be at the high extreme and 14% sounds just boozy. Some Austrian Rieslings can be impressive, but nowadays most Wachau Smaragd Rieslings tend to be just blowzy and anonymously fruited.

I suppose you know what is grape overripeness? It's the point where the grape is lacking acidity, is too high in potential alcohol and the variety has lost its varietal flavors, becoming just flabby with anonymous fruit flavors (jammy red fruit with red grapes, marmaladey candy and canned exotic fruits with white grapes). Some grape varieties seem to be able to withstand prolonged harvests without ever going to overripeness, but Riesling certainly can go there in too warm climates / temperatures. What you are describing as a sweet spot sounds more like a threshold of overripeness. If I see a 14% Riesling in a shop, I'm very sure to leave it untouched.

I really don't understand why you want to produce lower-acid wines with high alcohol and then use cool-climate high-acidity variety like Riesling for such job. That makes literally zero sense.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#45 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 17th, 2019, 10:17 pm

And I really didn't understand your point on winemakers not being able to make wines without extreme acidity in the Old World.

Have you watched news? The current problem is that most producers can't really make much high-acid Riesling in the Old World because of the constantly warmer climates. They'd want to make wines with racy acidities, but they can't and they are upset because their Riesling are turning flabby, blowzy and boozy.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#46 Post by Adam Frisch » September 18th, 2019, 12:28 am

Maybe you're not my customer then. High acid is easy, just pick earlier. I prefer to pick reds early and whites later. Just my personal preference as to the style I like.

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#47 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 18th, 2019, 12:30 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
September 18th, 2019, 12:28 am
Maybe you're not my customer then. High acid is easy, just pick earlier.
Oh my god. :D [winner.gif]

If that is so easy, why haven't the German people realized that sooner? Why they aren't picking the grapes earlier?

Maybe - just maybe - picking early might not be the solution?

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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#48 Post by Adam Frisch » September 18th, 2019, 12:40 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 18th, 2019, 12:30 am
Maybe - just maybe - picking early might not be the solution?
I totally agree. [wink.gif]
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#49 Post by Hank Victor » September 18th, 2019, 9:42 am

[snort.gif]
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Re: How German Wine Found Its Sweet Spot

#50 Post by Hank Victor » September 18th, 2019, 9:43 am

"Viticulture: An introduction to commercial grape growing for wine production" by Stephen Skelton MW is on sale at Amazon for $28.
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