Thörle Probstey Riesling Beerenauslese, Rheinhessen
Beerenauslese (or BA) means made from individual botrytis-affected berries (selected from whole bunches), The ‘Grand Cru’ level Probstey vineyard, first mentioned in the 13th century, is is on a steep, warm, south-facing slope. The yellow sand and limestone soils result in rich, full-bodied wines balanced with precise acidity.
The botrytised Riesling berries and bunches are picked by hand in the last days of the harvest. They are crushed and left on the honey-like juice for 40-50 hours to extract the intense flavours and concentrated sugar and acidity, then fermented over three months in a stainless steel tank.
This is a sweet, botrytised style, luscious with notes of honeyed raisins, dried apricot, peach and a hint of vanilla. The wine is rich yet beautifully balanced with lively acidity in the long, lingering finish. Luscious and opulent yet also bright and fresh. Drink on its own or with fruit-based desserts, rich patés (especially foie gras) and blue cheeses such as Roquefort or Gorgonzola. Cellar for 50 years or more.
The Thörle family has been making wine at Saulheim in Germany's Rheinhessen region since the 16th century. Christoph Thörle and his brother Johannes have been running the estate since 2006. The vineyards are managed organically.