Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Kabinett, one of six so-called prädikats applying to German wine that has not been chaptalized, and designating—depending on growing region and grape variety—must weights between 67 and 82 °oechsle. As such, Kabinett designates the lightest end of the German wine spectrum, and Mosel Kabinetts that have residual sugar are often as low as 7 or 8% alcohol. The term Kabinett, like the pegging of quality designations to minimum must weights itself, is entirely a product of the 1971 german wine law. The name was chosen for its association with the English word cabinet, widely used in Germany prior to 1971 as a general term of approbation for wines in all styles. It still has resonance in the German marketplace even for wines from regions such as baden and the pfalz where dry Kabinetts may significantly exceed 13% alcohol, and where among reputed producers most vintages since 1987 have involved no chaptalization. In the early 2010s many of the regional vdps elected to eliminate the use of the term, while others have decided to limit its use to non-dry Rieslings.