German wines have been making something of a comeback recently, and, although mentioning German Riesling might still get you a derisive comment about sticky sweet wines, nowadays there are many different styles around.
However, true German Riesling, while having some residual sugar, has a well-balanced backbone of acidity to it. Gone are the days of overly sweet, insipid wine. Even Blue Nun, the iconic German wine of the ’70s has made a comeback and is now much drier then its 1970s incarnation. German Riesling has always been off-dry or even sweet but what saved it was that acidity. Unfortunately, they did go through a period where cheap Riesling was sweetened artificially and produced those flabby sweet wines that people still associate with German Riesling.
Happily, fine German Riesling is making a comeback and Joachim Flick’s Riesling Kabinett 2010 is a great example of riesling. There are varying designations for the sweetness of German Riesling. “Trocken” is the driest style and “kabinett” is the next driest style, off-dry but not overly sweet. Joachim took over the family vineyards in 1992 and has been producing his fine wines with bracing acidity and full fruit flavours ever since.
The Victoria Berg vineyard is named after Queen Victoria, who visited the region in the mid 19th century, and the label that Joachim uses is still the same old-fashioned label that has always been used. He updated it slightly with a few changes in colour and added his name to the bottle but otherwise it is presented in the same florid style it has been for centuries now.
This wine has a great depth of fruit flavour and is also quite aromatic; it does, however, still retain that mouthwatering acidity which saves it from being vapid. I would recommend it either on its own as an aperitif or with soft white cheese, a tasty combination. If anything, I ‘d buy this wine just for the elaborate label!