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Sämling / Scheurebe - Roter Traminer

Sämling / Scheurebe - Roter Traminer

I would advise anyone who wants to delve deeply into the origins of grapes to look at ‘Wine Grapes’ by Jancis Robinson et al., the most authoritative tome on the subject. It did help my spinning head a little, but not much, as the Traminer/Savagnin family is more complex than the Ewings of Dallas. Roter Traminer is the same wine as Savagnin Rouge, related to the Gelber Traminer (Savagnin Blanc/Heida) and to Gewürztraminer. Roter Traminer is the predominant Traminer variety in Austria. It has low acidity and literally does smell (and taste) of roses along with dried fruit, marshmallows and citrus notes. In colour it ranges from intensely green to intensely yellow or even a glisten of red. When produced from ripe grapes, it produces wines with pronounced aromas that age well.

Scheurebe (shoy-ray-beh) is made into all styles of wine, from bone dry to absolute sweetness in Trockenbeerenauslese. The good dry wines have aromas of blackcurrant, peach and pear with notes of grapefruit and are worth looking out for. The good sweet wines are superb with grape and honey aromas. It does carry some of the characteristics of its known parent, Riesling. Scheurebe wines go very well with aromatic, spicy foods from appetizer to dessert.

“I don’t drink Riesling all the time, though I’d hardly mind doing so. Still, there are occasions when something more pagan is called for and that’s when I summon my guiltiest of wine pleasures - Scheurebe."

Scheurebe was created in 1916 by Dr Georg Scheu after whom it was eventually named, but didn’t get widely grown until the 1950's after it was discovered that it could produce some very good sweet wines.

Although German in origin, the grape has been planted elsewhere. In Austria it is often called Sämling or Sämling 88 as this was the seedling number given to it by Dr Scheu. It was named after him on its general release in 1945. It is most commonly grown in Germany and Austria but is also found in Switzerland and a couple of other countries.

Despite being a recent creation, all we know for certain about its parentage is that one parent is Riesling. The other is unknown.

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