Dulce en Serio, Riesling Pradikatswein – Dulces Vinos Dulces (capítulo IV)

Nuestra búsqueda de los mejores vinos dulces del mundo nos ha traído hasta Alemania. Por cierto, el concepto que muchos de nosotros nos hemos formado de los alemanes es de que se trata de unos tipos blancos, vigorosos, tenaces, altamente organizados y sumamente serios, por lo que quizás nos resulte difícil asociar la reciedumbre de estas gentes, amantes de la tecnología, del fútbol, de la cerveza, de Goethe y de las operas de Wagner con un vino dulce. Pues bien, aunque usted no lo crea, resulta que los vinos dulces de Alemania encajan a la medida con el estereotipo que tenemos de los alemanes : son blancos, vigorosos, tenaces, organizados y sumamente serios.

Para un hispano parlante que se inicia en la enología, la clasificación de los vinos alemanes puede resultar un verdadero galimatías; dicho en otras palabras, un auténtico enredo de nombres, clasificaciones y estilos que, para peores penas, están en un idioma que nos resulta complicadísimo. Afortunadamente, el sistema de clasificación es tan organizado y riguroso, que una vez que entendemos su lógica todo se nos hace más sencillo, incluso si lo tratamos de decir en alemán. Para comenzar, debemos saber que existen distintas clasificaciones genéricas; sin embargo, para simplificar las cosas, nos vamos a enfocar en solo una de ellas, la que se conoce como “Pradikatswein”, que traducido al español quiere decir Vinos de Calidad. Aquí, como su nombre lo indica, el asunto se pone serio y muy dulce. Dentro de este segmento de Vinos de Calidad (Pradikatswein) tenemos clasificados, de menos a más dulce, los Kabinett con 148 gramos de azúcar por litro, los Spätlese con 170 gramos de azúcar, los Auslese  con 190 gramos de azúcar, los Beerenauslese con 260 gramos de azúcar y finalmente los Trockenbeerenauslese con 340 gramos de azúcar. Les doy un dato útil: con excepción de Kabinett, todos los nombres terminan en el sufijo “lese”, que quiere decir “vendimia”, y mientras más largo  sea el prefijo que le antecede más contenido de azúcar contiene el vino y, por lo tanto, mayor calidad y capacidad de envejecimiento.

Tal como ocurre con el Tokaji Aszú y el Sauternes, los Pradikatswein se producen con uvas botrytizadas y/o de vendimia tardía. La clasificación además incluye a los vinos conocidos como Eiswein (Ice Wine o Vino de Hielo), los cuales son producidos con uvas vendimiadas después de las primeras heladas, y bajo un proceso de fermentación muy lento, que en ocasiones puede prolongarse hasta por 6 meses, y que permite obtener un vino con un gran contenido de acides y una altísima concentración de azúcar (hasta 220 gramos por litro). Por cierto, en la Provincia de Ontario, en Canadá, se están produciendo unos Ice Wine al estilo alemán de extraordinaria calidad.

La historia de los vinos dulces de Alemania es tan antigua como el Tokaji de Hungría o el Sauternes de Francia; de hecho, documentos históricos datan sus orígenes en el siglo XV, pero fue a partir de los años 1700  que comenzaron a  ganar notoriedad. La uva oficial, desde sus inicios, ha sido siempre la uva Riesling; una variedad de uva realmente admirable; apta para la podredumbre noble, y la única capaz de adaptarse a las austeras condiciones y bajas temperaturas de los valles del río Rin y del Mosela en la región de la Renania-Palatinado. Por consiguiente, hablar de un Pradikatswein es hablar del terruño y del vigor de la uva Riesling. Estos dos factores se expresan en la mineralidad, en el color claro, brillante y pajizo, en la gran frescura de su acidez, en la intensidad y riqueza de  sus aromas (flores, manzanas verdes, limón, piña, tilo, miel, ahumados y canela), en la finesa de sus texturas, en la exuberancia de su dulzor y en su enorme capacidad de envejecer y evolucionar.

Entre los productores de Riesling Pradikatswein dignos de mencionar se encuentran: Domdechant Werner, Robert Weil, Müller-Catoir, Schloss Johannisberger, Dr. Loosen y Von Othegraven. Estos vinos suelen ser costosos, particularmente los de estilo Beerenauslese y Trockenbeerenauslese, que se ubican entre los 100 y 700 US$ por botella dependiendo de la añada, pero es posible conseguir excelentes ejemplares de marcas menos renombradas a una fracción de estos precios. Cualquiera sea el caso, si tienes la oportunidad de adquirir un Riesling Pradikatswein, no lo pienses dos veces, estarás llevando a casa un dulce en serio y una pieza de colección que podrá reposar en tu bodega durante varios lustros.

Salud….y hasta nuestra próxima entrega.

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