Have you heard of Rivaner? No, me either! I had to pull down my trusty Oxford wine companion ( thank you Queen Jancis!) from the shelf. It transpires that Rivaner is the name used in Luxembourg for the Müller-Thurgau varietal. I’ll be honest, at this point I felt a little deflated, thanks mainly to the over planted flabby and downright icky versions that came out of Germany in the second half of the 20th century, this grape has a bit of a bad reputation.
I have tried a few bottles of English Müller-Thurgau and was frankly unimpressed each time, though I’m told that the quality has vastly improved in the last two harvests. I’ve also heard some wonderful things about the high altitude Müller-Thurgau wines from the Alto Adige in Italy. Now let’s throw in a further curve ball, this bottle hails from Luxembourg! I’ve not had any wine from Luxembourg, and most people on this fair isle haven’t, with the majority of their wines being exported to Belgium and Germany.
So taking on board all of these factors, you can see why I opened the bottle with a little trepidation! Initially on opening, the wine has an intense green nose and shows just a hint of effervescence in the glass. The first sip is a
So incredibly green, think lime zest, hawthorn, winter herbs, green almond; it’s got a reasonably bitter finish too. I left the wine open a little in the glass and when I returned to it 20 minutes later I was rewarded for my patience. The nose with a little air becomes fruity, Braeburn apples, lime juice, and sweet meadow hay. The palate reflects the nose, and is poised delicately along a refined mineral backbone. There is a touch of struck match which adds a richness to the wine, making it in my opinion, a great wine for these first warmer weeks of autumn.
So, what is the moral to this story? Don’t judge a wine by its forebears! If you’ve had a wine in the past that you didn’t love then don’t be put off, try one from another producer, a different region or another vintage. I hope, like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
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Blog posted by Tori – follow her on Instagram