A diverse area ... but the hallmark is quality

Von Reben Riesling 2013
Von Reben Riesling 2013
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Germany’s diverse winemaking dates back to the 18th century, and the valleys along the River Rhine and Mosel are home to some of its most famous and celebrated wines and festivals.

These delicious wines remind us how Germany’s noble grapes can be relied upon for quality and sheer enjoyment.

While it may never rival the popularity of sauvignon blanc, riesling is a great workhorse grape for colourful menus and Asian cuisine, with crisp, natural acidity and beguiling flavours of apples, peaches and pear.

Trocken means dry, and the Pfalz region west of the Rhine produces beautiful, elegant styles, such as Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker, ‘SL’ Riesling 2012, Dry, Dr Deinhard, Pfalz, Germany (£16, www.bbr.com).

It’s the German equivalent of a premier cru and has spring flowers on the nose with great purity of crisp white fruit that’s almost feather light with a soft, delicate mineral finish.

Further north, the huge Rheinhessen region produces arguably the finest riesling and Von Reben Riesling 2013, Rheinhessen, Germany (£9.99, {http:// www.laithwaites.co.uk| www.laithwaites.co.uk|Click here to visit Laithwaites}) is a modern style with a contemporary label to match.

Vibrant and fruity with poached pear on the nose and hints of peach and apricot on the minerally, stony finish, it’s bright and nicely polished.

Blending floral and mineral aromas, Mineralstein Riesling 2012, Rhein-Mosel, Germany (£8.99, Marks & Spencer) unites lovely notes of peach and apricot from the Pflaz region with a steely, mineral streak from the Mosel, to offer freshness on the palate with weighty stone fruit flavours, a hint of spice and a slightly creamy texture and roundness that finishes with well-balanced acidity.

Moving to a slightly off-dry style that gives plenty of pleasure, Devil’s Rock Riesling 2012, Pfalz, Germany (£6.99, The Co-operative) is named after a famous landmark and tastes lively with lots of zingy lemon, grapefruit and a spritz of citrus peel, underpinned with just the right amount of fruit salad notes, ending with juicy acidity.

A classic Riesling Kabinett that’s off-dry and lower in alcohol at 10% abv (most rieslings weigh in at 12% abv), Berry’s Mosel Riesling Kabinett, J&H, Selbach (Stelvin), Germany (£9.95, www.bbr.com) is from the steep slopes of the Mosel Valley, which produce lighter wines with limey and wet grassy aromas, and the crispness, fine acidity and mineral character tastes refreshingly good with its mouthwatering finish.

Red grapes aren’t necessarily at the heartland of Germany’s wine production, but its floral, delicate pinot noirs are becoming increasingly popular in fashionable circles. For a really super example, try Palataia Pinot Noir 2012, Pfalz, Germany (£8.99, Marks & Spencer) which is perfumed and seductive, and balances lush raspberry, cherry, strawberry and smoky cedar notes with the silky elegance you would expect. It’s definitely tempting enough to drink often, and in good company.