Scheurebe, created in Rheinhessen in 1916, takes its name from Its German breeder Georg Scheu. Long thought to be a Riesling x Silvaner cross, DNA profiling in 1998 confirmed only Riesling. In 2012 the second parent was revealed as Bukettraube (a Silvaner x Schiava Grossa cross). German plantings are in decline, currently 1,503ha, mostly in Rheinhessen but also In Pfalz, Franken and Nahe. Austrian producers prefer the variety's synonym Sämling ('seedling') 88 but Austria has fewer than 400ha, mainly in and around Neusiedlersee.
This underrated variety can produce wines at all levels of sweetness, from zesty trocken (dry) to luscious, ultra-sweet trockenbeerenauslesen, with intense flavours of grapefruit and sometimes blackcurrant, a richness in the mouth and fine acidity. But it needs a very good site and few producers are keen to give their best vineyards to a little-known variety. Austria favours the sweeter styles, Germany covers the full spectrum. Johann Ruck's subtly oaked style works but heavy oaking is a mistake. Try other German producers Keller, Kruger-Rumpf, Pfeffingen, Seehof, Wirsching and Wittmann. In Austria: H Fink, Gesellmann, Kollwentz, Lentsch, PMC Munzenrieder, Salzl and Tschida.
*From Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson MW, Julia Harding MW and José Vouillamoz is published by Allen Lane (£96, www.amazon.co.uk). www.winegrapes.org
Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦
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