"Feinherb" is a German wine term used to describe a specific style of wine that lies somewhere between dry and off-dry on the sweetness scale. It is primarily associated with Riesling, but you may also find Feinherb versions of other grape varieties like Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner.
Characteristics of German Feinherb wine:
Sweetness Level: Feinherb wines are off-dry, meaning they have a noticeable but not overwhelming sweetness. The residual sugar levels in these wines are higher than those found in fully dry wines, but they are lower than what you would expect in semi-sweet or sweet wines.
Acidity: Just like other German Rieslings, Feinherb wines boast vibrant acidity, which balances the sweetness and adds a refreshing, lively quality to the wine.
Fruitiness: Feinherb wines typically exhibit pronounced fruit flavors. You can expect to find a range of fruit notes such as ripe peach, apricot, apple, citrus, and tropical fruits.
Aromatics: These wines often have a delightful floral and aromatic character, with scents of blossoms and sometimes a touch of mineral notes, depending on the region.
Versatility: Due to their off-dry nature and well-balanced profile, Feinherb wines are versatile and food-friendly. They can complement a wide array of dishes, including spicy Asian cuisine, poultry, seafood, and even some desserts.
Aging Potential: While some Feinherb wines are meant to be enjoyed young to capture their vibrant fruitiness, certain high-quality examples can benefit from aging, developing more complexity and depth over time.
It's essential to note that the term "Feinherb" is a relatively new category in German wine labeling. Traditionally, German wines were labeled based on the Prädikat system, which indicated the level of ripeness and sweetness of the grapes at the time of harvest (e.g., Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese). Feinherb wines offer a more modern approach, providing a balance between sweetness and acidity that appeals to a broader range of palates.
If you encounter a German wine labeled as "Feinherb," it means you can expect a harmonious interplay between sweetness and acidity, making it a delightful choice for those seeking a wine with a touch of sweetness without being overly sugary.