Auslese

German auslese (/oush-lās-ǝ/) wine is the third of the six prädikatswein subcategories in terms of grape ripeness and represents the classification where it becomes significantly more difficult and risky to produce. For that reason, only 8% of all prädikatswein in 2011 was auslese wine while kabinett and spätlese alone totaled about 89%. Like grapes used to make spätlese wine, auslese grapes are left to grow on the vine even longer until they are hand harvested and sorted from the less ripe and unhealthy grapes. Auslese grapes must achieve a minimum 83-100 degrees öchsle. It is not always possible to produce auslese wine. The unpredictable German weather must cooperate to do so.

Auslese wine is normally full bodied with intense flavors. Though dry (“trocken”/trō-ken/) auslese wine can be found, it is almost always sweet (“süss”/zūs/). You will commonly find auslese riesling to have profound lemon, quince, pineapple, and apple flavors while it is young. As it ages, honey, lemon preserves, and apricot conserve are common flavors. The Staatliche Weinbaudomäne Trier and Weingut Hans Bausch both have exemplary sweet auslese wines from the 2011 vintage.