Riesling is a white grape indigenous to Germany, but now widely grown in cool areas throughout the world. It can produce light to medium bodied wines (dependant on climate) and very high acidity allows it to make a spectrum of wines from bone dry, to off-dry to lusciously sweet dessert wines. In Germany the harvest starts in mid September and end towards the end of October. Wines harvested at the beginning are dry and those harvested at the end are sweetest. Kabinett wines are off-dry thanks to a stopped fermentation which preserves natural sugar in the wine and gives a low %ABV (because only part of the sugar was turned into alcohol) They show clean citrus, apple, floral and honey character.
The Mosel Valley is the most famous of Germany’s 13 wine regions, and also the third largest in terms of production. As with many German regions, it is renowned for a range of wine styles (dry to lusciously sweet) made from exclusively from Riesling. The region is famous for its precipitously steep vineyards. The Mosel has a very cool, northern continental climate, and such slopes are very effective in optimizing the vines’ exposure to sun, facilitating the ripening of the grapes. The best sites also take advantage of the solar radiation reflecting off the rivers’ surface and onto the vines, and the dark slate soil’s ability to absorb heat during the day and radiate it back to the vines at night. The best Mosel Rieslings are some of the finest whites in the world. Light and low in alcohol, they can be intensely fragrant with beguiling floral and mineral notes, and a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity.
Riesling Kabinett wines are off-dry with light to medium body and very high acidity. They are not dessert wines as they are not sweet enough. These styles are extremely versatile with Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes and also work well with pork, river fish and goat cheese. This style works especially well with Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi.