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The 18 Best Riesling You Should Drink in 2022

Riesling
This is our review of the 18 Best Riesling you should drink this year. Enjoy!
Riesling is a well known high quality white wine produced worldwide in a variety of styles and at all level of sweetness.
 
It’s known for its high acidity and intense fruity and floral aromas which depends on the level of ripeness in the grapes.
 
Riesling is one of few white wines that can age for decades.
 
Have you ever found yourself staring at many Riesling bottles wondering which one you would like best?
 
As always we try our best to find high quality wine that offers great value for money and we have picked a selection of the 18 best Riesling you can find right now
 
We have categorized them by styles, regions and added an extensive buying guide so that you have all you need to make an informed decision.
 
Our best budget bottle selection for you is Hans Baer Riesling Trocken 2020.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling.
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2019.
 
You’ll find the table of content below. Let’s start with the review!
4/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 61% more.

Region: Germany, Mosel

Tasting notes: White Peach, Lemon Fruit, Green Apple, Citrus.

Spätlese Riesling or late harvest, comes with more concentrated and riper lemon, lime and peach flavors than Kabinett. 

This one has a lively minerality, along with a delicate and crisp acidity that perfectly balances the bright white peach and lemon fruit.

4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 3 times as much. | 90 points by Wine Enthusiast

Region: Germany, Mosel

Tasting notes:
Apple, Pear, Lemon, Honey, Pineapple, Mineral.

This Riesling is an authentic dry Mosel wine that reflects the classy nature of the grape variety as well as the character of the Moselle.
 
It offers a great value for money, as similar wines usually costs 3 times as much. If I’d were you I’ll be quick here!
4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Popular among Vivino users. More than 6100 ratings

Region: Germany, Rheinhessen

Tasting notes: Green Apple, Pear, Citrus, Tropical Fruit, Straw.

If you are after a great dry, light and refreshing German Riesling for a very good price, you’ve just found it!

It’s pretty popular amongst the Vivino’s community too, and for a very good reason!

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 4 times as much.

Region: Germany·Rheingau

Tasting notes:
Green Apple, Flower, Citrus, Tropical Fruit.

It has light green-yellow. Aroma of fine touch of green apple, flower and citrus, hints of tropical fruit.

Young, slim and citrus characterized, to taste with good length and slightly mineral touch.

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 33% more.

Region: Germany, Mosel

Tasting notes: Peach, Pineapple, Acacia, Gooseberry, Honey, Elderflower.

This wine displays a finely structured subtle minerality.

This is no surprise considering it’s a Kabinett, i.e. a higher quality Riesling. Check out our guide below for more info. 

It shows lively and racy acidity, generous fruit and great delicacy.

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: Featured in Vivino’s 2020 Wine Style Awards: German Riesling (2016 Vintage)

Region: Germany, Rheingau

Tasting notes: Ripe Apricot, Tropical Fruit, Lemon, Honey, Hints of Petrol.

You are in for a treat with this Riesling Spätlese!

Spätlese or late harvest, are fuller body wines with more concentrated and riper aromas than Kabinett, like ripe lemon and peach.

Find out more about German Riesling classification in our guide below.

4.1/5

Region: France, Alsace

Tasting notes: White Peach, Pear, Apple, Apricot, Tropical Fruit, White Flowers.

If you love the French Riesling style, you must try it. You are going to love it!

This great quality bottle is actually a blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner and Pinot Auxerrois.

It’s dry with high acidity and medium body. Expect white peach, pineapple, pear, white flowers and honey are the predominant notes.

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: It currently ranks #1 in Top 20 Californian Riesling wines in United States right now

Region: United States, Spring Mountain District

Tasting notes: Peach, Lime, Green Apple, Tangerine, Apricot, Straw.

This amazing Napa Valley Riesling currently ranks #1 in Top 20 Californian Riesling wines in United States right now.

And for a good reason if you ask me, it offers manes layers of complexity, still is very balanced and offers good value for money. Don’t miss out!

4.1/5

Region: United States, Seneca Lake

Tasting notes: Pear, Apricot, Candied Lemon, Orange Blossom, Honey.

This Semi-Dry Riesling is vibrant and aromatic, featuring the distinctive minerality that has become our trademark.
 
Fragrant essence of spring blossoms sets the stage for a succulent palate of early fruit, balanced with a refreshing crispness, revealing the true qualities of the Riesling grape.
 
A brilliant texture carries into a lingering finish, in a wine that accommodates a wide range of food.
4/5

Region: United States, Leelanau Peninsula

Tasting notes: Peach, Green Apple, Lemon, Minerals, Honeysuckle.

Bursting with fresh fruit, this Michigan Riesling is a celebration in itself.
 
This lively wine radiates peach and melon flavors that make this a great brunch accompaniment. Makes the perfect Mimosa!
4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Winner of Vivino’s 2017 Wine Style Awards: Washington State Riesling (2014 Vintage). 

Region: United States, Columbia Valley

Tasting notes: Peach, Pineapple, Pear, Apple, Honey, Honeysuckel.

The Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling is part of the Pacific Rim collection of wines from the Columbia Valley in Washington.
 
The wine is refreshingly sweet with a lively mouthfeel. There are fresh and fruity with flavors of pineapple and peach.
 
It is ideal with fiery fare especially Thai, Szechwan, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine.
3.7/5

Region: Australia, Clare Valley

Tasting notes: Lemons, Orange Blossom, Hints of Stone Fruit.

If you have never tried an Australian Riesling style, this is the perfect bottle to start with.

It offers a lively and flavoursome palate, with filling characters of lemons, orange blossom, hints of stone fruit and zesty natural acidity in a long and cleansing finish.

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Featured in Top 21 Canadian Ice Wine wines right now

Region: Canada, Niagara Peninsula

Tasting notes: Fresh Orange, Spice, Lemon, Lime, Peach, Apricot, Clove.

Inniskillin Icewine, recognized as one of the worlds great wines, is truly winters gift to wine lovers.
 
Harvested at the pinnacle of Canadas crisp winter, the grapes are naturally frozen on the vine and picked when the temperature drops to -10 degrees C.
 
Only a few drops of luscious nectar can be squeezed from each bunch, which is then expertly guided through fermentation to achieve this rich and alluring specialty wine.
 
This Niagara River appellation wine opens with aromatics of fresh orange, spice, lemon and lime.
 
On the palate this rich and elegant wine shows great texture with concentrated flavors of peach, apricot along with a hint of clove, balanced by a crisp and lively acidity
 
Pairs well with brie with lavender honey, firm aged cheddar, seared scallops or classic baked apples. Serve chilled.
4.1/5

Region: New Zealand, Marlborough

Tasting notes: Orange Blossom, Lime, Tangelo, Honeysuckle, Lavender

Purity of aroma typifies Giesen Estate Marlborough Riesling 2012 with notes of lemon and lime zest, jasmine, ginger and petrichor, which means the aroma of rain on dry earth.
 
The palate has a succulent sweetness and intensity, reminiscent of lemon curd combined with the vibrant flavors of mandarin.
 
Lovely and dry, the mineral acidity provides a structural backbone and length to the palate.
4/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: Germany, Mosel

Tasting notes: Apricot, Lime, Mango, Honeysuckle, Straw.

This dry Riesling is sleek and tangy, showing apricot, lime and mango flavors matched to a lively structure.

Shows good harmony and persistence through the finish. For the price is a gift!

4.3/5

Region: Germany, Graach

Tasting notes: Citrus, Apple, Honey, Mineral, Nectarine.

This is another great bottle of Riesling Auslese at a very competitive price.

For those of you not familiar with the German Riesling classification check out our guide below.

In short this is a high quality wine made with selected extra-ripe bunches, and in this case is off-dry.

It offers various level of complexity and a great balance, it’s a must try!

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Featured in Vivino’s 2020 Wine Style Awards: German Riesling (2004 Vintage)

Region: Germany, Wehlen

Tasting notes: Peach, Apricot, Lemon, Tropical Fruit, Candid Ginger, Honeysuckle, Petrol.

In case you haven’t noticed this is the second Joh Jos Prüm on the Best of list.

The difference with the previous one is the style or terroir if you wish.

Wehlener gives their best as they age offering that typical ripe peach and textural opulence that it’s their trademark.

As always the best way to find is to verify. If I were you I’d try both bottles and see the differences, it’ll be a great experience. Have fun!  

4.6/5

Vivino’s tips: 93 points by Jeff Leve (1971 Vintage)

Region: Germany, Wiltingen

Tasting notes: Smoke, Drier Herb, Ripe Tangerine, Mango, Peach, Honey, Lemon.

This is a masterpiece but it’s not for everyone. If you can afford it or are lucky enough to have tried it, you know it was a unique experience.

Opening notes of smoke and dried herb blow off to reveal layers of ripe tangerine, honey, lemon and lime on this aromatic medium-sweet Riesling.

The palate is lusciously fruity, with rich, ripe flavors of mango and peach, but cut by piercing citrus acidity that penetrates.

The finish lingers on and on.

Buying Guide to Riesling

It’s not just about which Riesling you should buy.

There are other important aspects like how to serve it, food pairings, and much more.

The below buying guide will give you a detailed overview of all these topics.

Riesling Overview

Here you find an overview of where Riesling is most commonly planted.

Grape

Riesling

ABV

9%–12%

Main Regions

Germany: Mosel, Rheinhessen, Rheingau and Pfalz.
France: Alsace

Other Regions

Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, Northern Italy,
South Africa,

USA: California, Michigan, New York, Washington,

Grape

Riesling

ABV

9%–12%

Main Regions

Germany: Mosel, Rheinhessen, Rheingau and Pfalz.
France: Alsace

Other Regions

Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, Northern Italy,
South Africa,

USA: California, Michigan, New York, Washington,

Riesling Taste Profile

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Riesling.

Color

Pale Lemon to Deep Gold

Nose

Apple, Pear,
Lemon, Lime (just-ripe)
Peach, Apricot,
Tropical Fruit,
Dried Fruit (ripe),
Gasoline (aged)

Palate

Green & Citrus Fruit (just-ripe)
Stone & Tropical Fruit (ripe)
Dry to Sweet
High Acidity
Light to Full Body

Color

Pale Lemon to Deep Gold

Nose

Apple, Pear,
Lemon, Lime (just-ripe)
Peach, Apricot,
Tropical Fruit,
Dried Fruit (ripe),
Gasoline (aged)

Palate

Green & Citrus Fruit (just-ripe)
Stone & Tropical Fruit (ripe)
Dry to Sweet
High Acidity
Light to Full Body

Riesling Food Pairing

These are some food pairing suggestions for Riesling.

Riesling is a versatile wine and it’s high acidity makes is good match with salty food. If you prefer the sweet Riesling, you’ll find that it’ll match very well with spicy food.

Appetitizer

French Fries,
Salty Olives,
Salami,
Onion, Carrot, Eggplant

Meat

Chinese Cuisine,
Thai Cuisine,
Tex-Mex,
Roasted Pork, Duck and Goose

Fish

White Fish, Shrimp,
Crab

Cheese

Semi Hard (Parmigiano, Pecorino)
Creamy Cheese (Camembert, Brie)

Appetitizer

French Fries,
Salty Olives,
Salami,
Onion, Carrot, Eggplant

Meat

Chinese Cuisine,
Thai Cuisine,
Tex-Mex,
Roasted Pork, Duck and Goose

Fish

White Fish, Shrimp,
Crab

Cheese

Semi Hard (Parmigiano, Pecorino)
Creamy Cheese (Camembert, Brie)

Serve and Store Riesling

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store Barbaresco.

Decant

Nope

Glass

Fortified (Sweet wine)

Chardonnay / Viognier (all others)

Serve at

43 - 46 °F
6 - 8 °C

Store for

Up to 10+ years

Decant

Nope

Glass

Fortified (Sweet wine)

Chardonnay / Viognier (all others)

Serve at

43 - 46 °F
6 - 8 °C

Store for

Up to 10+ years

Riesling Styles

You’ll find that Riesling is produced worldwide in a variety of styles. Here will primarily focus on the top 6 Riesling styles.

Germany is the biggest producer of Riesling in the world and has primarily a cool climate.

You’ll find high acidity wine, dry to sweet Riesling and even sparkling version of it, aka Sekt.

Check out the next section on how to read a German Riesling label to better navigate this vast and interesting world.

The two primary features of a German Riesling is that it’s almost always produced in purity, i.e. no blending, and it’s rarely aged in oak.

France or better Alsace AOC is another large producer of Riesling. It’s the dry and sunny wine-producing region as such grapes ripen slowly and gradually.

French Riesling has a higher alcohol content, usually 12%, than the German style and it’s dry. It is more rounded thanks to its ageing in steel tank or oak barrel.

Expect a high acidity and medium body wine with stone fruit and ripe citrus fruit flavors and blossom aromas.

Similarly to the German Riesling they can age decades in bottle developing honey and dried fruit flavors.

Australia‘s best Riesling production is from Eden Valley and Clare Valley (South Australia).

You’ll generally find dry and crisp Riesling with oily texture and intense aromas of lime, peach and blossom. 

Austrian Riesling is usually dry, with high alcohol content up to 13% and medium plus body. 

Long finish and a hint of white pepper are the usual trademark of this style that gives it’s best generally after 5 years. 

USA has at least 4 areas known for their Riesling, although for different reasons.

  • New York produces light body Riesling from dry to sweet and ice wine.
  • California produces good quality late harvest, although somewhat different from the German equivalent.
  • Washington produces easy drinking Riesling with high acidity, light body with mineral and peach notes.
  • Michigan is known for its ice wine production.

Canada, and in particular the Niagara region, is a major producer of high quality ice wine that could compete with Germany.

Along with ice wine, you’ll find rich Riesling dry to off-dry produced here. 

How To Read German Riesling Label

Grape ripeness is quite of a challenge in Germany due its cool climate.

To grade the level of ripeness they come up with 3 categories and 6 sub-categories, so that you can pick exactly what you are after!

1. Landwein are usually dry to off-dry light body wine.

2. Qualitätswein are wines of a superior quality and have more intense flavor and fuller body.

The grapes must come from one of the 13 German wine regions and have a higher level of ripeness.

You will find them in dry, aka Trocken, off-dry, aka Halbtrocken, and sweet, aka Süss.

3. Prädikatswein are wines with more stringent requirement than Qualitätswein and have a higher content of sugar. 

You’ll find 6 sub-categories depending on the level of sugar present in the grapes at the time of harvest. 

To make your life easier, I’ll list them here for you in ascending order of the level of sugar required at the time of harvest.

  • Kabinett is the most delicate and lightest of the 6 with typical notes of lime, green apple and blossom.

  • Spätlese or late harvest, spät in German means “late”, are fuller body wines with more concentrated and riper aromas than Kabinett, like ripe lemon and peach.

  • Auslese or selected harvest, are usually sweet wines but you’ll find dry version too.

    Only carefully selected extra-ripe grapes are picked here and the result are apricot, dried fruits and mango flavours.

  • Eiswine or ice wine, are made from grape that have frozen on the vine.

    Botrytis or Noble Rot [1] has no role in the production of ice wine.

    Expect intense apricot, peach, pineapple and mango aromas from this outstanding wines.

    Eiswine are usually expensive as they are labour intense, yields are very small and specific weather conditions are required.

  • Beerenauslese/BA or selected berry harvest, wines are produced from grapes affected by Botrytis. Expect flavors of apricot, mango, honey and dry fruit.

  • Trockenbeerenauslese/TBA or selected dried berry harvest, are rare wines with very concentrated flavors made from berries dried by the effect of Botrytis.

Our Verdict

Riesling is a well known high quality white wine produced worldwide in a variety of styles and at all level of sweetness.
 
It’s known for its high acidity and intense fruity and floral aromas which depends on the level of ripeness in the grapes.
 
At the same time, you have probably realized by now, that there’s a huge selection and various price points.
 
The good news is that you can get very high quality usually at a good price if you know where to look!
 
That’s why proper guidance comes in handy. We hope our guide was helpful in this regard.
 
Our best budget bottle selection for you is Hans Baer Riesling Trocken 2020.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling.
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2019.
 
As always, make sure to serve your Riesling at the right temperature and with the proper glass.

What to do next?

Read our wine tasting guide to enhance your tasting experience and taste like the pro!

Alternatively, why don’t you check out our guides on Pinot GrigioChardonnay , Souvignon Blanc and Champagne?

FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Riesling.

What does Riesling mean?

It’s not yet clear what’s the origin of the Riesling name.

One of the most accredited assumptions is that it comes from the German word “verrieseln” in reference of the difficulties it finds in flowering in cold weather.

What is Riesling history?

Riesling has been known for many centuries although, to these days the origin of its name are note yet clear.

The first documented reference is from the 15th century in Germany. Other references are present in Alsace and Austria as well.

Today it is considered within the top three varieties along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Where does Riesling grow best?

Riesling is a cold-hardy white grape that gives it’s best in cool and moderate climates. Generally speaking we can say that:
 
In cool climates, like Germany for example, the typical traits are high level of acidity, sometimes balanced by residual sugar and apple and pear notes.
 
In warmer climates, like Alsace, citrus and peach notes are more common.

When is the perfect time to drink Riesling?

Given its high versatility and the fact that it’s produced in so many styles and at all level of sweetness, every occasion is a good occasion to have a nice bottle of Riesling. 

If you go through our guide above, you’ll get quite a lot of details on the various styles and what to expect from them so that you can always get your best from your wine.

Is Riesling sweet?

Riesling is produced at all level of sweetness. The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage. 

  • A dry wine contains less than 15 g/L.
  • An off dry wine contains between 15-30 g/L.
  • A sweet wine contains between 50-100 g/L.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

Where does the petrol aroma in Riesling come from?

Some Riesling display a petrol note and the caused appear to be a TDN compound, which is formed during the aging process.

Other factors that could contribute to the production of this aromas are high sun exposure, ripeness of the grapes and high acidity, which is a feature of high quality Riesling.

Is there an International Riesling Day?

Yes there is and it’s the 13th March of each year and it is recognised as the birthday of Riesling.

What’s Riesling's typical price range?

Riesling is an affordable wines, you’ll find good entry level bottle between $10-$20.

Great bottles will generally priced around $30-$50 price range.

Outstanding bottles and usually ice wine, spätlese and auslese can go up to $100.

For those of you who are after the luxury segment be prepared to spend several $100s.

Why You Can Trust Us?

Wine is our passion and our mission is to make the world of wine more accessible to you and by doing so enhancing your experience.

We try our best to find high quality wines that offer great value for money so that they have a light weight on your wallet as well!🤩

Finally, all the content we publish on this site has been written or overseen by wine certificate holders.

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