Legendary Riesling (4): Spätlese
Spätlese in German means ‘late harvest’ although the grapes for these wines are not picked as late as those for the Auslese wines. Spätlese wines are the next level from the ones we looked at in the previous installments. Compared to Kabinett, Spätlese wines are richer and have greater body because the grapes ripen for a further week and, depending on the area, sometimes even longer.
Once the grapes have been picked they are used to make wines that are semi-sweet or sweet (lieblich), semi-dry (halbtrocken) or dry (trocken but this is rare), depending on the preferences of the winemaker.