Connoisseurs know that "Selection" signals the best of the vintage.....a carefully selected, top-quality wine.....an exquisite example of German winemaking skill. Taste profile: dry.
First-class vineyards (or parcels thereof), low yields, and harvesting by hand all contribute to the outstanding quality of these wines. Bottle aging is a prerequisite – Selection wines cannot be marketed prior to September 1st of the year after the harvest. All Selection wines are vintage dated.
Quality criteria for Selection wines
Wine-growers who intend to produce grapes for a Selection wine must fulfill many quality-oriented criteria. The wine's appellation of origin – a first-class, individual vineyard site (or parcels thereof) – must be registered with authorities and be clearly demarcated as a "Selection" site by May 1st prior to the harvest. The importance attributed to vineyard site acknowledges terroir – site-specific soil and microclimatic conditions – as a factor that infuences the individual character, and quality, of a wine.
The must weights of grapes from which Selection wines are produced are far higher (Auslese level) than the minimum prescribed by law, equal to a natural alcohol content of 12.2% by volume.
Yields are restricted to a maximum of 60 hl/ha.
Grapes must be selectively harvested, by hand, to weed out unripe or rotten berries.
In terms of style, Selection wines are dry, with up to 9 grams per liter of residual sugar – with one exception: Riesling wines, that are by nature rich in acidity. Here, the residual sugar content can be 1.5 times as high as the acidity, up to a maximum of 12 grams per liter. The goal is to achieve a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.
The name of the producer must appear on the label of all quality wines. Selection wines are no exception, whether the wine was estate-bottled (Gutsabfüllung or Erzeugerabfüllung) or bottled by a commercial winery (Abfüller). In the latter case, where the grape-grower(s) and bottler of a Selection wine are not identical, all parties must conclude and register with the authorities a contract (by May 1st prior to the harvest) outlining each party's responsibilities with regard to quality, quantity, delivery, etc. Wineries and growers alike strive for long-term contracts that will be mutually beneficial and many of these working relationships have been in place, successfully, for years.
Selection: premium quality, dry varietals available in limited quantities. The cream of the crop.
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