Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Auslese, a prädikat that means literally ‘selected harvest’ but is officially defined by the must weight at harvest. In Germany, specific minimum must weights are laid down for each combination of vine variety and region, and range from 83 to 105 °oechsle. In Austria, the minimum is 21 °kmw (approximately 105 °Oechsle). By the letter of the german wine law, grapes for Auslese should have been picked at least one week after a preliminary picking of less ripe grapes but in practice an Auslese may well have been picked early in the harvest. At their finest, German Auslesen are long-lived, sweet, often botrytized wines, and the finest botrytis frequently occurs early on. In Germany, high-alcohol, dry wines have occasionally been designated Auslese trocken, but with decreasing frequency. Many vintners long preferred to use the designation spätlese even if the must weight on which their dry wine was based far exceeded the minimum for Auslese; and the trend (now official policy within the vdp growers’ association) is to dispense entirely with Prädikat designations for dry wines.