What to drink this week

Ger­man Ries­lings

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Make these Ger­man whites the last of the summer wine, en­thuses Harry Eyres

Late summer seems to me the ideal time to sip Ger­man Ries­lings, prefer­ably in a gar­den: they make the per­fect aper­i­tif for an al­fresco meal, but the drier styles are also won­der­fully ver­sa­tile food wines.

Why you should be drink­ing them

A Ries­ling re­vival has been un­der way for some time now, but much of the fo­cus has been on wines from Aus­tralia (and I love Clare Val­ley Ries­ling), New Zealand and Aus­tria —any­where other than Ries­ling’s true and orig­i­nal home­land in the val­leys of the Mosel, Saar, Rhine and Nahe. The wines from the steep slopes above those rivers are still the most ex­quis­ite, pi­quant and nu­anced Ries­lings of all; they of­fer re­mark­able value com­pared to other top wines.

What to drink

Be­hind the or­di­nary-sound­ing name of Jus­terini & Brooks Dry Ries­ling NV (£10; www.jus­teri­nis.com) is one of the Rhein­gau’s best pro­duc­ers, Au­gust Kes­seler; this has clas­sic Rhein­gau min­er­al­ity, length and salti­ness, to­gether with re­fresh­ing ap­p­ley fruit. Very ver­sa­tile. Higher up the scale, also from the Rhein­gau, is Robert Weil’s in­tensely limey, fine and steely Kiedrich Turm­berg Ries­ling Trocken 2014 (right, £22.50; www.jus­teri­nis.com). How­ever, these wines are ba­bies: the very best Ger­man Ries­lings I’ve drunk re­cently have come from the 1994 vin­tage, still in­tensely fresh and trans­par­ent. You may not find any of the Ürziger Würz­garten Ries­ling Spätlese 1994 from Mönch­hof (I have one bot­tle left), but you can ac­quire the Wehlener Son­nenuhr Ries­ling Auslese 1994 from the leg­endary J. J. Prüm (£74.50; www. bbr.com). Not cheap, but worth ev­ery penny.

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