Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The WSET / ISG Challenge Number 7: A Medley of Miscellany

All things German was the theme for this week’s quiz. Naturally though, the answers might not have been as simple as they appeared.
What is a Reichenstenier?
  1. A grape variety
  2. A QWPSR in Germany
  3. A village in the Rheingau
  4. A village in the Rheinhessan

Answer: 1. Reichenstenier is a grape variety that was developed in Germany in 1939 using Müller-Thurgau as one parent and a crossing of Madeleine Angevine and Early Calabrese for the other. Oz Clarke describes Reichenstenier has having “dull flavours which, though “not exactly resembling a Calabrese cabbage, have swathed themselves in the neutrality of the Müller-Thurgau.” Most of Germany’s production occurs in the Rheinhessan although plantings are also found in the UK and New Zealand. This grape is resistant to rot, reaches high sugar levels, but is overall not memorable for taste.
Edelfäule is what?
  1. A bereich in the Rheingau
  2. A field blend from Alsace
  3. Noble Rot
  4. A synonym for Riesling used in the Rheingau
Answer: 3. Edelfäule is the benevolent form of Botrytis that gives some of the world’s finest and most long-lived sweet wines – Sauternes and Tokaji being arguably the best known – their distinctive taste.

There is a wealth of information on Noble Rot available, but one popular myth found on Wikipedia suggests the remarkable taste it imparts was discovered in 1775 when the Riesling producers at Schloss Johannisberg, awaited the tradition go ahead from the estate owner, Heinrich von Bibra, Bishop of Fulda, before cutting their grapes. Unbeknownst to them, the abbey messenger was robbed en route and the cutting delayed three weeks – ample time for the Botrytis to take hold. The grapes were presumed worthless and given to local peasants, who produced a surprisingly good, sweet wine which subsequently became known as Spätlese, or late harvest wine.
FYI: These are actual practice questions from Frank’s WSET and ISG studies. Let us know how you’re enjoying them and using them.
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German Wines (Faber Books on Wine)The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd EditionHow To Pronounce French, German, and Italian Wine Names (Let's Learn!)World Atlas of Wine Oz Clarke's New Wine Atlas: Wines and Wine Regions of the World

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