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WINE OF THE WEEK: Bischel Gau-Algesheim Terra Fusca Riesling Trocken 2020, Rheinhessen, Germany

£26.45, The Wine Barn

This page sees too few Rieslings and too few German wines. One wine that falls into both underrepresented camps doesn’t put that right, but it’s a start – and I’ve gone for gold with this one.

A dry white wine of wonderful fruit and mineral intensity, it has aromas of ripe limes and lemons, fragrant quince and apple, fresh grass, herbs and wet stones. The palate is long, slender and intense; a harmony of rich fruit and deep, clayey mineral notes, all bristling with energy and clean-cut acidity.

The label is a model of clear, contemporary design, but even so the wine may need a bit of unpacking for those who don’t drink German wines very often and/or those who don’t speak German.

The first thing to say is that the producer is Weingut Bischel, but I had to drop ‘Weingut’ from the title because I couldn’t fit it in. It’s a 25-hectare estate based in Appenheim in northern Rheinhessen, run by brothers Christian and Matthias Runkel, who both worked in vineyards in South Africa and New Zealand, and it’s a member of the VDP, an association of 200 top-quality German wine estates.

This wine, Terra Fusca (meaning ‘black earth’), is from the oldest Riesling vineyards in Gau-Algesheim, an Erste Gewäch (1G or ‘first growth’) on steep southeast-facing slopes rich in limestone and clay marls.

The grapes are harvested late and hand picked, then crushed and left for a few hours to extract aromas from the skins before being gently pressed, fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel and then bottled after eight months.

Among other things, it’s a wine for green asparagus with hollandaise and prosciutto (ideally Black Forest ham) or roast with olive oil and shavings of parmesan; for shellfish, especially crustacea; roast pork with apple, peach or apricot; southeast Asian flavours; and bright, punchy salads. 12.5%. Empty bottle weight: 716g.

Weingut Bischel Gau-Algesheim Terra Fusca Riesling Trocken 2020, Rheinhessen, Germany

£26.45, The Wine Barn


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