All Hail the Noble Grape!
Whether choosing a wine to pair with food or to quaff on a sun-bathed terrace, to impress the new in-laws or celebrate a special occasion there is always one grape you can guarantee will deliver… or is there?
The world over Riesling is universally recognised as arguably the finest wine grape, one of the six original noble varieties and parent to a plethora of other varieties. Now it is grown successfully in almost every wine region across the globe, and generally considered the most expressive of its terroir. So why is it that we cringe at the mere mention of its name?
Understanding the history and myths behind the grape is only part of it, more understanding why this grape is truly special is the point. Riesling is a variety that thrives at lower temperatures but can also be successful in the heat. Its extremely woody vine can withstand relatively low temperatures, it buds early, ripens slowly and fruits late allowing excellent concentration of fruit and high natural acidity (tartaric acid). The resulting juice can produce wines in the most diverse range, from bone dry to extremely honeyed or anything in between and still maintain its distinctive fruit character and fine structure without the influence of oak or MLF (malolactic fermentation). This unique ability gives Riesling a stylistic range that no other variety can match without any intervention.
Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Sybille Kuntz, Mosel 2015
A truly great entry level dry Riesling, this wine displays a beautiful balance of fruit and acidity with a depth and complexity that is synonymous with German wines. From one of the most beautiful and challenging wine regions, the south-facing vineyards on the bank of the Mosel benefit from baking sun during the day and cool breeze from the hills of Minheim to the north. In terms of food pairings this is a dream – salty seafood, spices, sour cheeses or rich bisques.
• Thackeray’s Restaurant, 85 London Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1EA, call 01892 511921 or visit www.thackerays-restaurant.co.uk