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Sämling / Scheurebe - St Laurent

Sämling / Scheurebe - St Laurent

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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With its somewhat low yield, the variety is considered difficult in the vineyard and was not always appreciated. It needs good sites with deep soils. It is sensitive during the flowering period and sensitive to late frost. It brings inconsistent yields.

Like many other grape varieties, the facts behind its origins are not easily confirmed. One theory suggests that cuttings were offered by a grape collector called Saint-Laurent du Var while another that it comes from Alsace, where it was known as Schwarzer. Although it shares its name with a number of French villages, there is nothing to suggest that they had anything to do with the naming of this grape. Most likely is the idea mentioned above that it was named after the patron saint of chefs, whose patronal festival coincides with the traditional day on which the berries change colour. It is one of the first grapes planted at the monastery of Klosterneuburg in their experimental vineyard in 1863.

If you are a fan of Zweigelt, remember that in 1922 Fritz Zweigelt combined the Sankt Laurent grape with Blaüfrankisch to create Zweigelt. It is a very good parent indeed.

It is not however closely related to Pinot. Sankt Laurent is not the same as Pinot Saint-Laurent. Although Sankt Laurent is not Pinot Noir, any more than Carménère is Merlot, there are some similarities to be found. If you like a meatier, gamier Pinot Noir, try this – you will not be disappointed!

ophisticated wine with a lingering finish that continues to delight for ages. It pairs well with most food, especially meats and as many commentators advise, those foods which you shouldn’t really eat like barbeques, cheese and anything fatty.

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