A. Christmann Estate Riesling 2020

$3716
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The Wine Front – Honey, green apple, almost a cool mint perfume, subtle toasty notes. Punches through the palate, but has a delicacy and a honeyed creaminess that’s so charming, and mitigates the firm stony acidity and crunch of lemon and green apple. Feels very much that it’s a wine that knows exactly what it’s about. Entry level, and so impressive!

About This Wine

The wine has soft and appealing, precise stone fruit, candied citrus and floral, herbal and hay aromas. Also noticeable are flint and slate, a touch of earthy roughness and gentle notes of wood polish that give the Riesling more depth.

Type White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
Country Germany
Region Pfalz
Brand A. Christmann
Vintage 2018

About German Wines

Germany is the world’s northernmost fine wine producing region and thus requires its vines to endure some of the coldest temperatures. Fortunately, the country’s star variety, Riesling, does well in cooler climates and can survive even these freezing winters.

Germany Riesling is classified by ripeness at harvest which is also used to indicate the wine’s level of residual sugar. Picking earlier means the grapes have less time to ripen and the corresponding wines will be on the drier side; while picking later gives the grapes the opportunity full ripen and produce a lusciously sweet Riesling. The classifications from driest to sweetest: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein (ice wine). While not as common to age white wines outside of Chardonnay, top tier German Rieslings can be aged for decades.

Other notable white grape varieties produced in Germany include Müller-Thurgau (a cross between Riesling and Madelaine Royale in the search for varieties that could withstand the extreme temperatures), Grauburguner (Pinot Gris) and Weissburguner (Pinot Blanc). The cooler German climate leads to earlier harvesting in general and gives German wines a distinctive character of higher acidity.

Historically red wine has always been harder to produce in the German climate. However, Pinot Noir grown in slightly warmer pockets of the country, has been highly successful in recent times. Going by the German name, Spätburgunder, German Pinot Noir can be elegant, structured and have vibrant acidity.

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