Thursday, January 11, 2007

QmP Wine Classification

Once again it's time to try and de-mystify once little part of German wines - and today it's time to look at the whole Pradikat clasification. In short all the wines classed as QmP are then given a second classification based on the amount of potential alcohol in the grape juice (which essentially means the amount of sugar in the grape). Starting from the lowest to the highest -:

Kabinett - wines are the most delicate and will be light in body with crisp acidity and either citrus or green apple.

Spatlese - literally a late harvest wine - more concentrated and with more flavour and body than a Kabinett. Riper fruit flavours - less likely to be green apple and more ripe citrus and perhaps even hints of tropical flavour.

Auslese - made from individually selected bunches of grapes - chosen for being extra ripe and can be from dry (this is the last classification commonly found as a dry wine) but can equally be a sweet wine. Harvested at the same time as Kabinett and Spatlese - but the selection goes on in the winery or at the vineyard.

Beerenauslese - rare expensive wine made from grapes that are individually selected from bunches of extra ripe auslese grapes - these will often have been affected by Botrytis - that is noble rot which drys out grapes and concentrates flavours and sugars to make luscious sweet wines.

Trockenbeerenauslese - produced in minute quantities from individual grapes that have shriveled to tiny raisins as a result of noble rot. The grapes have the potential to make wines of 21.5% alcohol but with high acidity. They will of course never get this far - they will rarely have alcohol in excess of 8%abv.

Eiswein - Wine made from grapes that have been frozen (naturally not in a freezer!) The grapes are left on the wines and have the same sugar levels as a Beerenauslese but with no noble rot. During the winter the water in the grapes freeze but the sugars don't so they can then be pressed so that a very sweet juice can then be fermented. The wines produced in this fashion are generally expensive with excellent richness, acidity and wonderful purity of fruit.

No comments: