There are wines in the market and wine industry which have commonalities and are often difficult to differentiate one from the other. But, there are those which are rarely found. This is true for the story of Trockenbeerenauslese Rieslings, a style of wine that has its distinctive character from the grape variety to the method of picking.
One of the rarest gems of Riesling is the one produced along the standards of Trockenbeerenauslese. In Germany, Trockenbeerenauslese speaks of harvesting only selected grapes that have almost withered. Harvest of the grapes takes place late in the season, letting the grapes shrivel, even to the point that most would almost look like raisins. The grapes are handpicked one by one, carefully chosen amongst the vines. Trockenbeerenauslese is at the top of both the Austrian and German Pradikat category of the classification of wines, with the standards that have brought Riesling of this style to the international wine market.
Despite the late harvest, not all grapes develop the Trockenbeerenauslese style. Factors, which affect the rottenness of the grapes, include the wine region, most especially the region’s climate condition. This is what makes Trockenbeerenauslese a rare catch as it’s not all year round that the climate will be suitable for the grapes to cling onto the vines and get overripe, yet useful at the same time. Certain climate conditions enable the grapes reach a noble rot, or in more common terms, botrytized grapes. Grapes of this kind are affected by the botrytis cinerea, a fungus which affects most plants, majority of which are grapes. This fungus is what makes the grapes so sweet, depending on its exposure and rottenness.
Another thing that makes Trockenbeerenauslese rare and quite expensive as compared to other Riesling styles is due to the kind of labor that the wine makers put into action to develop quality wines from the grapes.
Trockenbeerenauslese is of sweeter quality, making it a perfect dessert wine. Because of its long exposure and late harvest, the flavors have intensified, and more sugars concentrates are left on the grape. It comprises a blend of fruity flavors of apricot, honey bouquet and a noticeable caramel flavor with a thick and highly concentrated body and texture. Riesling grapes make one of the best Trockenbeerenauslese among other varieties because of its ability to sustain acidity despite the grape being overly ripened. Aside from this, wines made with this style can definitely be aged for a very long time. This is due to the high sugar levels contained on each grape which act like preservatives to keep the wines in shape during the aging process. But Riesling is not the only variety which could produce Trockenbeerenauslese wines, it is just one of the few best grapes that are used in this style, which are often sold in auctions in Germany and some rare wine events, making it a special entry
Wine lovers and connoisseurs have still yet to discover the beauty of dessert wines and how it will surprise the palate. Trockenbeerenauslese is definitely something that the curious cats of the wine world should be anticipating for.