At this point, most anyone who has listened to me speak (or read my blog posts) about Riesling for more than six seconds is (painfully) aware of my love-affair with the noble wine grape, I consider it probably the greatest white wine variety due to its uncanny ability to retain a signature while also elegantly translating a sense of place as purely as the best red wine grapes, blah blah blah…
Truth be told, even I’m getting sick of hearing about how great I think Riesling is.
Having said that… I cannot resist the temptation to relay some interesting facts about how Riesling is able to translate a sense of place so well.
You see, I’ve been sitting on a book (well, not literally sitting on it, just waiting to read it… ah, forget it…) that I received as a sample from the Wines of Germany folks during my trip to German wine country earlier this year. The book is a bit of a sleeper – it’s dry reading, oscillates wildly between wine-geek information on Riesling, producer profiles, and beginner’s guide takes on how to enjoy Riesling wine. It’s also translated a bit awkwardly from the German, which means the English version reads with an odd cadence and uses the word “indeed” multiple times in the same sentence – as in
“Indeed, what I am about to write in this sentence is indeed going to reinforce what was stated in the sentence prior to this one!”
No surprise then that this book isn’t exactly lighting up the Amazon.com sales rank charts (currently, it’s at number 2,832,386).
But, that doesn’t stop the book, titled simply Riesling, by Chrstina Fischer and Ingo Swoboda, from delivering a masterstroke of Riesling wine appreciation. At least, it did for me. (Indeed) Chapter three of Riesling is (indeed) so freakin’ awesome that I’m going to summarize a large section of it, because it provides what might be the most eloquent overview of the link between Riesling wine aromas and soil types that I’ve ever seen.
(Indeed) It’s like the f—king Rosetta Stone for translating Riesling soil types!
And that is enough to get any Riesling wine geek’s mouth watering (Indeed!)…
I don’t know where/when/how Swoboda and Fischer performed the research to draw their conclusions on how soil types link up to the aromas found in Riesling wines, but from my experience the conclusions found in Riesling are spot-on (at least when it comes to classic examples of the wine from Germany’ and Alsace).
Without further ado – here’s your Riesling to Soil translation table:
|Blue Slate||Green Apple|
|Red Shale||Hayseed / Herbal|
|Porphyry / Volcanic||Minerals|
|Gneiss / Granite
|Quince / Smoke|
As for why those particular soil types impart those particular aromas in the finished wine – well, you’ll have to read Riesling to get that info. (as far as I’m aware, copyright laws still pertain despite liberal misuse of the word “Indeed”).