Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Scheurebe is the one early-20th-century german cross that deserves attention from any connoisseur, and the only one named after the prolific vine breeder Georg Scheu, the original director of the viticultural institute at Alzey in Rheinhessen. Sometimes called simply Scheu, it was developed with specific, sandy, Rheinhessen soils around Dienheim in mind but has achieved its greatest popularity in the pfalz. dna profiling in 2012 showed that it is a cross of Riesling and Bukettrebe, a white-berried Silvaner x Schiava Grossa cross. It is much more than a riper, more productive replica of Riesling. Provided it reaches full maturity (like other such German crosses as bacchus and ortega it is distinctly unappetizing if picked too early), Scheurebe wines have their own exuberant, racy flavours of blackcurrants or even rich grapefruit. It is one of the few varietal parvenus countenanced by quality-conscious German wine producers, not just because it can easily reach high prädikat levels of ripeness, but because these are so delicately counterbalanced with the nerve of acidity—perhaps not quite so much as in an equivalent Riesling—but enough to preserve the wine for many years in bottle. Furthermore, for all its inherent aromatic exuberance, Scheurebe also follows its parent Riesling in reflecting soil and mesoclimate, generating some striking and site-typical variations not just in the Pfalz, but in Franken, and in rare instances along the Nahe, and around Boppart in the Mittelrhein.