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Riesling (REESE-ling) is one of the most well rounded white wine grapes in terms of growing and tasting properties. The Riesling grape is well suited for the very cold climates that it regularly finds itself in, the most popular being Germany, and can be enhanced through exposure to the non-toxic mold, BOTRYTIS CINEREA. The mold or “noble rot” shrivels the grapes, which effectively concentrates the sweetness of the wine, producing a high level of quality. The German levels of sweetness, which are placed in increasing order, are Spätlese (SHPAYT-lay-zuh), Auslese (OWS-lay-zeh), Beerenauslese (BARE-ehn-OWS-lay-zeh), and Trockenbeerenauslese (TROCK-en-BEHR-en-OWS-lay-zeh). The aroma and taste profile of a Riesling grape usually consists of strong stone fruits and floral notes. On the palette one may find high levels of sugar balanced by high levels of Tartaric acid. Even if you’re not a fan of sweet, Riesling is a varietal you can’t miss.
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