Trockenbeerenauslese

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Botrytised grape cluster Botrytisgrape.JPG
Botrytised grape cluster

Trockenbeerenauslese (literal meaning: 'dried berry selection') is a German language wine term for a medium to full body dessert wine.

Contents

Trockenbeerenauslese is the highest in sugar content in the Prädikatswein category of the Austrian and German wine classifications. [1] Trockenbeerenauslese wines, often called "TBA" for short, are made from individually selected grapes affected by noble rot (i.e., botrytized grapes).

This means that the grapes have been individually picked and are shrivelled with noble rot, often to the point of appearing like a raisin. They are therefore very sweet and have an intensely rich flavor, frequently with a lot of caramel and honey bouquet, stone fruit notes such as apricot, and distinctive aroma of the noble rot. The finest examples are made from the Riesling grape, as this retains plenty of acidity even at the extreme ripeness. [2] [3] Other grape varieties are also used, such as Scheurebe, Ortega, Welschriesling, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer and many are more prone to noble rot than Riesling since they ripen earlier.

These wines are rare and expensive due to the labor-intensive method of production, and the fact that very specific climatic conditions (which do not necessarily occur every year) are required to create botrytized grapes. Some of the best wines of this type are sold almost exclusively at the various German wine auctions. They are usually golden to deep golden in colour, sometimes even dark caramel. The body is viscous, very thick and concentrated, and arguably can be aged almost indefinitely due to the preservative powers of its high sugar content. Although TBA has very high residual sugar level, the finest specimens are far from being cloying due to high level of acidity.

Trockenbeerenauslesen have also been in common production since the 1960s in Austria. Most TBA wines from Austria come from Neusiedlersee, Burgenland. On both sides of lake Neusiedl those wines are produced. East of the lake, the village of Illmitz is known for the production of "liquid gold". At the western side of the lake in Rust and St. Margarethen, wine of exceptionally good quality can be found. This region is known for its wide and shallow lakes which can lose more than half their volume due to evaporation. The mists created by these lakes provide a very conducive climate for noble rot to shrivel grapes.

The style is similar to, but much more concentrated than, Sélection de Grains Nobles from Alsace.

In comparison to Sauternes, the wines are considerably sweeter, have a lower alcoholic strength and are usually not oaked.

As with most other premium grade dessert wines, Trockenbeerenauslese is to a large extent sold in half bottles of 375 ml.

Requirements

The minimum must weight requirements for Trockenbeerenauslese is as follows:

The requirements are part of the wine law in both countries. Many producers, especially top-level producers, exceed the minimum requirements, resulting in richer and sweeter wines. In Germany it is common to add a golden capsule to indicate a superior wine. The sweetness of a TBA that just comes up to the minimum requirements may be 150 grams per liter, but in exceptional circumstances, the wines may contain more than 300 grams of sugar per liter and may approach the very rare Tokaji Eszencia in concentration.

See also

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Kabinett

Kabinett, or sometimes Kabinettwein, is a German language wine term for a wine which is made from fully ripened grapes of the main harvest, typically picked in September, and are usually made in a light style. In the German wine classification system, Kabinett is the lowest level of Prädikatswein, lower in ripeness than Spätlese.

Spätlese German late harvest wine

Spätlese is a German wine term for a wine from fully ripe grapes, the lightest of the late harvest wines. Spätlese is a riper category than Kabinett in the Prädikatswein category of the German wine classification and is the lowest level of Prädikatswein in Austria, where Kabinett is classified in another way. In both cases, Spätlese is below Auslese in terms of ripeness. The grapes are picked at least seven days after normal harvest, so they are riper and have a higher sugar content. Because of the weather, waiting to pick the grapes later carries a risk of the crop being ruined by rain. However, in warm years and from good sites much of the harvest will reach Spätlese level.

<i>Auslese</i>

Auslese is a German language wine term for a late harvest wine and is a riper category than Spätlese in the Prädikatswein category of the Austrian and German wine classification. The grapes are picked from selected very ripe bunches in the autumn, and have to be hand-picked. Generally Auslese wine can be made in only the best harvest years that have been sufficiently warm. A small proportion of the grapes may be affected by noble rot in some regions although this never dominates the character of the wine. Rheingau winemaker Schloss Johannisberg is generally credited with discovering Auslese wine in 1787.

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Vendange tardive French dessert wine

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Sélection de Grains Nobles (SGN) is French for "selection of noble berries" and refers to wines made from grapes affected by noble rot. SGN wines are sweet dessert wines with rich, concentrated flavours. Alsace wines were the first to be described as Sélection de Grains Nobles, with the legal definition introduced in 1984, but the term is also seen in some other wine regions France, such as Loire.

Ausbruch or sometimes Ausbruchwein is an Austrian wine term for a quality level in the Prädikatswein category. It is situated between Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese in requirements, which makes it a sweet dessert wine typically made from grapes affected by noble rot. The minimum must weight requirements for Ausbruch is 30 degrees KMW. The Ausbruch Prädikat exists only in Austria and Hungary, not in Germany. The category was introduced into Austrian wine legislation in 1970, as a legalization of the production method allegedly already used in the area of Rust. Ruster Ausbruch are still the most common Ausbruch wines to encounter; in many other Austrian regions, producers classify their wines as Beerenauslese if they fall short of the Trockenbeerenauslese requirements. Since October 2020, the Ruster Ausbruch is legally protected by the Austrian DAC system of origins as "Ruster Ausbruch DAC".

Coteaux du Layon

Coteaux du Layon is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for sweet white wine in the Loire Valley wine region of France. Coteaux du Layon is situated in the Anjou district of the region, along the river Layon, which is a tributary of the Loire. Six of the villages (communes), namely Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Faye-d'Anjou, Rablay-sur-Layon, Rochefort-sur-Loire, Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné and Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay are allowed to add their name to that of the appellation. Usually, the "de" or "sur" part is dropped, to give names like Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu and Coteaux du Layon Saint-Aubin. Furthermore, two villages within the Coteaux du Layon area form their own respective AOC – Bonnezeaux and Chaume. Finally, a favoured enclave within Chaume is a separate AOC under the name Quarts de Chaume. For the geographically delimited AOCs, required grape maturity is higher and allowed yield is lower. The best vineyards are generally located on the north bank of the Layon, where they enjoy a good sun exposure on roughly south-facing slopes. Coteaux du Layon including its enclave appellations cover about 1,400 hectares in the early 2000s.

References

  1. German Wine Institute: Quality categories Archived 2007-12-24 at the Wayback Machine , accessed on May 4, 2008
  2. Jancis Robinson, ed. (2006). "Riesling". Oxford Companion to Wine (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp.  577. ISBN   0-19-860990-6.
  3. Jancis Robinson, ed. (2006). "Botrytized". Oxford Companion to Wine (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp.  95. ISBN   0-19-860990-6.
  4. German Wine Institute: Must weights Archived 2008-04-14 at the Wayback Machine , accessed on May 4, 2008
  5. Wines from Austria: Quality Designations in Detail Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine , accessed on May 4, 2008