Definition - What does Auslese mean?

In the context of wine styles, Auslese is a German wine made from select late harvest grapes. The grapes used to make Auslese are hand harvested from late November to early December. As the grapes have been left on the vine for so long they are very high in sugar, and may have started to shrivel, which concentrates flavors. Additionally the grapes can show signs of noble rot or botrytis.

WineFrog explains Auslese

Auslese is a German wine style and means "selected harvest." Auslese wines are made from wines that are hand harvested after being allowed to ripe and shrivel on the vine, to ensure high sugar and concentrated flavors when they are late harvested. Often the grapes shows signs of noble rot or botrytis. The noble rot or botrytis do not negatively affect the flavor of the wine, but simply indicate the natural effects of being left on the vine. Auslese wines are typically only made from grapes in in very warm years, as the warmth contributes to the concentration of the wines. The concentration of flavors due to the over-ripeness of the grapes, and the noble rot give Auslese wines a very rich, very sweet flavor profile which makes Auslese wines enjoyable for drinking alone and they also pair well with the rich, hearty flavors of German cuisine.

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