Beerenauslese

German beerenauslese (/beer-in-oush-lās-ǝ/) wine is a subcategory of prädikatswein and has many similarities to eiswein (/īs-vīn/). A key difference, however, is that Beerenauslese wine often has the famous botrytis tones from being affected by botrytis while eiswein cannot. It must be made from grapes harvested by hand at a minimum 110-128 degrees öchsle. Additionally, each individual grape berry must be sorted out and selected by hand from other less adequate grape berries. All this makes it very expensive and risky to produce. Like all other prädikatswein subcategories the grapes are left to ripen even further on the vine making them very late harvested grapes. At that level of ripeness the resulting wine is very full bodied and sweet (“süss”/zūs/). Beerenauslese wine is also often described as being edelsüss (/ād-ul- zūs/) in German because it is very sweet. Young beerenauslese riesling characteristically has profound raisin, banana, and dried pineapple tones. Good beerenauslese riesling can easily be aged 25 years though it normally starts to develop its mature tones of honey, dried fruit, and petrol mineral after only a handful of years. Vintners take on a serious risk of losing high quality grapes in order to produce beerenauslese wine because they have to leave the grapes on the vine for such a very long time with only the hope that they will be able to make beerenauslese wine. It is not even possible to produce beerenauslese wine every year. For those reasons, beerenauslese wine is very rare and valuable. See the riesling beerenauslese from Weingut Matthias Müller.