Germany has a strong wine and beer tradition. German wines are indeed a study of balance between acid and sugar. Many wine drinkers believe that all German wines are sweet or that all Riesling is sweet. This assumption is decidedly untrue. In fact, Germany is home to many of the finest dry wines in Europe. German wine labels and wine laws seem to do very little about making life easier for the consumer. These labels are often confusing and complicated and understood by few wine drinkers. The truth is that there is a wealth of information regarding provenance, ripeness, whether or not a wine is estate bottled and much more. Though there are vineyards in numerous regions throughout Germany, winemakers and consumers seem agree that Riesling is simply the finest grape in Germany. This is evident because Riesling is planted in all of the best vineyard sites throughout the country. Muller Thurgau is also planted throughout Germany as well as numerous other grapes including Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), Germany's best red. In addition to Riesling's spot atop the German wine hierarchy, German producers agree upon a quality designation system, QmP. These designations listed in terms of ripeness, which is often confused with sweetness. The designations are listed in terms of increasing ripeness: Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein, Trockenbeerenauslese.
The Mosel Saar Ruwer is perhaps the most important German wine region. Perhaps the two most important areas are located around the towns of Piesport and Bernkastel. The wines from PIesport are fragrant and honeyed. The wines from Bernkastel are also renowned for their complex, honeyed flavors, minerality and acidity. Some of the late harvest wines around Bernkastel are among the best dessert wines in the world. Both of these towns and the areas around them contribute numerous high quality vineyard sites to the German wine landscape.
Rheingau vineyards are south facing are prone to the botrytis rot, because of the mists produced by the river. Rheingau produces some of the finest dessert wines imaginable, but also producer some dry wines and everything in between that are of astonishing quality. Rheingau wines tend to taste of peaches and tangerines and tend to be fuller, in general, than their Mosel cousins. Much of the Rhein has marl in its soil which often contributes a richness and even spicy character to the wines.
"Floral, apricot and mineral notes burst from the glass, and the wine is silky and impeccably balanced. Very concentrated, yet lightweight and elegant, with a fresh aftertaste. This wine has a remarkable amount of botrytis/noble rot. Very complex and well-structured wine. Very good interplay between floral flavors, mineral acidity and citrus aromas. 91 pts RP"
"93 pts - WS Luscious and tangy, with grapefruit and raisin notes permeating the creamy texture. Offset by good acidity, with a lingering grapefruit and spice aftertaste. Drink now through 2020. 120 cases made. Rated as one of the Top 10 Rieslings at the Hyatt National Riesling Challenge, 2006."
"A dry Riesling with fruity hints of peach and apricot, finish with mineral and citrus notes"
"This features ripe citrus and apple flavors that are supported by plenty of fresh acidity. Finishes with apple tart and light spicy notes. Drink now through 2022."
"This wine is refreshing with slightly fruity character and bright crisp palate that lingers in the finish"
"An classic silvaner on the nose, with vegetation and a fine intensity. Medium bodied and intense in the mouth with light earthiness and a touch of minerality. Very elegant with lots of grapey fruit and citrus. Good acidity and length."
"A golden/straw-colored German dessert wine. Aromatic and full-bodied with a pleasant sweetness. Low in acidity. Pairs beautifully with cakes, pie, or fruit desserts...or simply on it's own!"
"This Monkey Wine is named for the valley it is grown in Baden. The Affentaler Riesling offers a slight fruity flavor that the company recommends serving with seafood, salads and poultry."
"Harvested from select, very ripe bunches of grapes at the peak of maturity. This is a luxurious, sweet, and full bodied wine with a fragrant, noble, and fruity aroma. It pairs exceptionally well with desserts, including fruit, pies, and cakes."
"A nuanced touch of residual sugar softens the edges of this zesty, light-footed Riesling. Its sweet-tart lemon and lime flavors are thirst-quenching and crisp. Touches of crushed minerals and nuts mark its brisk finish."