Most German wines exported to the United States are made from Riesling, which can produce wines ranging from completely dry to tooth-achingly sweet. Other grape varieties consumers might encounter include Gewürztraminer, Scheurebe, Sylvaner, and the three Pinots: Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder), Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder) and Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder). Our guide to German wine labels will help you understand these sometimes confusing entities.
Wine Enthusiast’s German wine reviews can steer you to the styles you prefer, from any of the 13 German wine regions, including Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheingau and Pfalz, among others. Search our German wine guide — a comprehensive database of more than 2,000 German wine ratings — for more details on individual wines.
Hugely sweet yet reasonably balanced given its enormous concentration, this is a tremendous example of the quality heights sweet Riesling can achieve. Golden raisin, dried apricots and candied pineapple all swirl together in a delicious haze of sugar-coma-inducing syrup that nevertheless goes down easily. Will age easily for decades.— J.C. (3/1/2012)
Even in a flight of top BAs and TBAs, this one stood out. It’s hugely sweet and viscous, yet also has amazingly fresh acids that really prolong the finish and promise decades—if not centuries—of cellaring. Golden raisin and dried apricot notes are true to type, and the wine’s balance is impeccable.— J.C. (3/1/2012)
Exceeds even this producer’s stunning beerenauslese, featuring an even more intoxicating perfume of honey, dried apricots and candied pineapple, with slightly more acidity to provide balance to the extra level of sweetness, so much so that this wine comes across as refreshing on the finish, despite the incredibly high levels of sugar. Drink now–2050, possibly longer.— J.C. (3/1/2011)
While sometimes the Pauly-Bergweiler wines come across as too simply sweet, this one hits all the right notes, from an outrageously exotic bouquet of dried apricots, orange marmalade and faintly sweaty socks that add a kinky edge to the rich, layered texture in the mouth and virtually endless finish. Should age effortlessly for decades, but it's pretty spectacular now.— J.C. (4/1/2010)
The smoky, minerally aspects of the site show through even a thick veil of botrytis. This is intensely honeyed, filled with dried apricot and candied pineapple flavors, yet not without nuance. Incredibly sweet, but as balanced as a wine this unctuous can be, with a long, mouthwatering finish.— J.C. (6/1/2009)
So incredibly thick and sweet it's almost chewy in texture, with aromas and flavors that feature a fascinating interplay of fresh and dried apricots, peach and citrus, kept lively by healthy acidity. The finish lasts for minutes; the wine should age well for decades.— J.C. (12/15/2007)
Prüm has hit a grand slam in 2005, with every bottling we’ve tasted coming in at 90-plus points. This offering has the house’s trademark yeasty, leesy scents, but also layer after layer of dense, slaty fruit balanced by crisp acidity. It’s a bit sweet for most dishes, but pairing it with foie gras or mild cheeses will allow it to shine. Should evolve gracefully for…— J.C. (6/1/2007)
Words hardly do this wine justice. It’s unctuous almost beyond the point of being wine—offering a mèlange of dried fruits and honey that ooze over every taste bud, filling the pores of your mouth and then releasing sugar and flavor for minutes afterward. And the aromas aren’t too shabby either, giving up intense scents of dried apricots and orange marmalade, tinged…— J.C. (9/1/2006)