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Baden-Badener Riesling 2008

It may be more well known for its beer, but Germany does some damn
Posted 08th June 2011        
     

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It may be more well known for its beer, but Germany does some damn good wines.

I managed to try a few on a trip to Karlsruhe, the 300 year-old planned city that rumour has it partly inspired the design of Washington in the USA (check the fan-like layout).

And just like its excellent public transportation system, acres of green space, and selection of herbal teas, the wines on offer there were impressive. Though unfortunately none of them came from the 220,000 litre wine barrel / dance floor housed in the cellars of nearby Heidelberg Castle.

The reds were fruity and interesting, but it was the Riesling that shone. A German speciality that has risen in popularity in recent years, it is a versatile variety producing everything from dry wines (“trocken”) to intensely sweet ones (try a – deep breath – “Trockenbeerenauslese”) made from shrivelled dried grapes.

I got a couple to take home, and wish I’d shelled out for the full size version of this 25cl bottle. From local (to Karlsruhe) producer Baden-Badener, I don’t know much about it other than it’s from 2008 and has been given Germany’s quality wine classification “Qualitatswein”.

It’s delicious: manging to be both full of flavour and nuance but without any cloying sweetness or over-the-top theatrics. I’d say it’s off-dry, and has a little of that Riesling sweetness, but this doesn’t outstay its welcome and moves off the tongue just as soon as you’ve finished savouring the glorious mix of ripe fruit and tongue tingling acidity. There’s a hint of honey and sultanas, as well as rich pear and apple tones.

It went fine with a spiced rice dish, but was neither dry enough or sweet enough to take on a chunk of chocolate. To be honest it doesn’t need food at all, and has a rich luxury better savoured alone – closed eyes optional.

If you’re fed up of the Sauvignon Blanc citrus tang then look no further.

     

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Meet the Author:
Adam Bamburg
Adam spent much of his youth in Hampshire, somewhere between Winchester and Southampton. After extracting a degree involving psychology and philosophy from a Nottingham-based university, he bid the midlands farewell and ventured back south to live in Brighton. There he found his vocation in writing: first evaluating the musical performances and recorded output of assorted beat-combos, then branching out into the terrifying world of art criticism. Despite his best efforts he now works in ‘the media’ in London. As Adam grew older and wiser he realised that wine was his favourite alcoholic beverage, that some wines are better than others, and that furthering his knowledge of the grape and producer often increased his enjoyment of the drink at the same time. He hopes to share the fermented fruits of his voyage of discovery here.