Sadly many people deny themselves the joy of good German wine believing them to be sweet. The best however are phenomenal, fine Rieslings exquisite, stunning in youth and ageing well. German vineyards, global warming notwithstanding, are absolutely at the limit, almost beyond the limit of where grapes will ripen. This is both a constant threat and a magnificent opportunity as vine and man both struggle to balance two essential but dangerous elements in fine wine – acidity and sugar. Too much or too little of either is disastrous. Here, in the best wines, the “sweetness” regarded as alien, is grape ripeness, not sugar per se. When ripeness and acidity come together harmoniously, the results can be electric.
The vineyard sites owned by Schloss Schönborn are perfect in achieving this end, at every level. Labelling can be difficult as the wines are graded for quality, dependent on their ripeness, but each level has a perfect food partner. These wines are so wonderfully food friendly, complementing even awkward flavours like smoke and spice, whilst delightfully measured in alcohol.