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Neuburger - Riesling

Neuburger - Riesling

According to legend, Neuburger was fished out of the Danube in the 1860's and planted in the Wachau. It is capable of making a dry and elegant wine as well as great late-harvest sweet wines.

Think of Neuburger as having the gusto of a clean Chardonnay, the depth of a dry Chenin Blanc with a bit of the snap of a Muscadet. It often produces wines that are soft, full bodied and have a balanced, nutty aroma.

Relatively easy to cultivate and not particularly demanding on soil types, although it does best on primary rock.

Neuburger is a popular heurige wine. It has a natural depth and diversity of flavour, but due to its ease has often been taken for granted and used in blends and entry level wines. 

Obviously when someone does take it seriously, it is a lot more interesting.

I've been told the best are in the Wachau, but in my tastings it has always been winemakers in other regions who show impressive efforts. The Hofbauer 2007 is impressive 10 years on, and the skin contact version from Kiss shows the complexity of the grape.

DNA profiling has shown that the grape is a crossing of Roter Veltliner and Sylvaner.

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Riesling wines can be highly aromatic with apple, peach and pear at the forefront, mixed with delicate floral undertones and often honey and spice on the nose. On the palate, Rieslings echo the apple, pear and peach along with citrus and tropical nuances. Rieslings tend to pick up a noticeable "minerality" from their native soils.

Riesling, through DNA data, appears to be a cross between Gouais Blanc and an unknown relative of Savagnin. Riesling seems to have originated on the north bank of the Rhine in Germany where we find its first mention in a document dated 1435.

Up to the early 20th century Riesling and Sylvaner were often confused with each other. If you buy an ancient bottle you can't be sure which it might be. After the 60s, you're OK.

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