German Riesling & Rhone Valley
The wine lover's favourite white grape variety - Riesling, on its home territory in Germany.
German wine suffers from an undeserved poor image due to some very inferior wines that were popular in the 1980s, however REAL German wine is top quality and totally unique.
German wine labelling appears to be very confusing, but here we will explore the different quality levels and what they mean. We will focus on the Mosel, which produces delicate, low alcohol, medium-dry wines all from the Riesling grape.
We will sample a flight of 3 Mosel Rieslings, all made in the traditional medium-dry style. Firstly a Qualitätswein (literally a quality wine) abbreviated to QbA, then we move up into the highest level wines known as Prädikatswein (superior quality wine) which are sub-divided further according to how ripe the grapes were when picked. We will sample a Kabinett Prädikatswein (reserve superior quality wine) and finally a sublime Spätlese Prädikatswein (late harvest superior quality wine). All three Riesling's will challenge most people's perceptions of German wines.
Southern Rhône Red Wine
The Rhône valley in South East France produces a huge amount of wine, mostly full-bodied red wine based on the Grenache grape variety. Here under the hot sun, the grapes reach high levels of ripeness and produce high alcohol wines, but usually without too much tannin. As with so many French wines there is a hierarchy of quality (and price) and in this tasting we will explore three levels, all based on the French Appellation Contrôlée (AC) system.
We start with a generic Côtes du Rhône AC which can be from anywhere is a large area - the total vineyards that qualify for this label cover 83,000 ha. Because of this, whilst the overall style of wine is consistent, it is important to understand the producer in order to select a good quality wine. Next we move up to the Côtes du Rhône-Villages AC, these are wines from 95 specific villages within the Côtes du Rhône area restricted to the better 10,000 ha of vineyard. Finally, at the top of the quality pyramid there are 17 villages (known as crus) that can use their own village name without any reference to Côtes du Rhône. The most famous of these is of course Châteauneuf-du-Pape AC, which covers 3,000 ha of premium vineyards within the centre of this large region. We will sample one of these famous wines from a good producer.
Two fascinating and totally different flights featuring some top quality wines.
Places remaining: 11
Course Date/Time: Wed 1st May 2019 at 7.00-9.00pm
Duration: 2 Hours
Venue: The Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury