Sweet Wines (9): Very sweet Germany
We continue with German Riesling and here emerge ourselves in the blessed worlds of Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) and Eiswein.
TBA (trocken/dried; beeren/grapes; auslese/harvest) wines are without a doubt the sweetest, densest and amazing in regard to the sensorial potency of all the wines of this category. The category, adored by wine lovers the world over, includes some of the greatest sweet wines on the planet. While less elegant and complex than Eiswein, TBA wines are decidedly bolder and impressive in regard to mouthfeel. The grapes are rigorously picked by hand after they have begun to rot on the vine and been attacked by noble rot. The sugar concentration is evident not only by how syrupy the juice but also by the amplification of all the organoleptic characteristics.
Eiswein (Ice Wine), on the other hand, is not a passito straw wine for which the grapes have been dried, it is simply wine made from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine and were picked in the middle of winter. When the water in the grape freezes it concentrates the solutes that remain in the little liquid left but did not freeze because of the concentration of solutes. This means that the sugar residue has become super concentrated. After the grapes have been picked by hand, they are pressed softly and the juice made into wine. The result are masterpieces of elegance and complexity, not as sweet or bold as TBA but decidedly more balanced and complex.
Gli Eiswein, invece, non sono vini passiti. Sono semplicemente vini le cui uve sono “congelate” dal freddo naturale, per cui vendemmiate in pieno inverno. L’acqua, ghiacciando, concentra i soluti nel poco liquido rimasto negli acini, che non ghiaccia proprio per una concentrazione indotta dei soluti. Questi acini congelati con il poco liquido residuo super concentrato, una volta raccolti a mano, vengono ammostati sofficemente e vinificati. Ne escono capolavori di eleganza e complessità, non potenti e zuccherini come i TBA ma decisamente più equilibrati e cesellati.