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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Australian winemaker and Riesling expert, Brian Croser, has called for Old World Riesling producers, especially from Alsace, to include on their labels the exact amount of residual sugar in their wines. Speaking at the fourth Great Riesling Tasting, organised by Charles Taylor Wines and Siegel Wine Agencies, and held in Whitehall last Monday, Croser said he was fed up with buying a wine and then finding out it was far too sweet' to serve with the food it was bought to accompany. Co-speaker Jancis Robinson MW criticised the German classification systems, and said that although more and more people had realised that Riesling doesn't have to be a dessert wine to be great', the new Classic and Selection systems had done little more than make wine exams even harder'. She also argued that the VDP system (which requires wines to either be dry or very sweet) had left producers of medium and medium-sweet styles out on a limb'. However, the long-awaited Riesling revival' could be underway, according to both of them, with Croser highlighting the great' recent vintages in both Australia and Germany as the spark. Robinson said that since last year's event she had encountered a groundswell of enthusiasm' for Riesling all around the world, but particularly in the USA, where more interest was being shown in aromatic white and German wines. Robinson also said that the proliferation of Rieslings being released under Stelvin, particularly at the top end, had helped energise the category. People are understanding it is a quality rather than an economic decision,' she said.