There are six different types of Prädikatswein. Their minimum starting must weights vary depending on the grape variety and growing region. Chaptalisation is not permitted.
Fine, light, low-alcohol wines from just-ripe grapes. Residually sweet Kabinett can easily age for eight years and longer. 73 – 85° Oechsle.
Ripe, elegant wines with fine fruit and much greater power and body compared to wines at Kabinett level. Its ageing potential ranges from three to 15 years, depending on the vintage, grape, vineyard and producer. The wine’s potential lifespan is significantly longer once residual sweetness comes into play. 80 – 95° Oechsle.
Noble wines from fully ripened grapes; unripe grapes are rejected. This is a broad classification encompassing various styles right up to the next level, Beerenauslese – from clean, pure Auslese made from completely healthy grapes, to Auslese made from fully botrytised grapes. Auslese Goldkapsel (GK) and Auslese Lange Goldkapsel (LGK) are regarded as superior Auslesen. 95 – 105° Oechsle.
Highly intense, concentrated wines made from overripe, sometimes shrivelled grapes affected by Botrytis cinerea, or ‘noble rot’. (Botrytis cinerea is a highly desirable characteristic for this style.) BAs are not always possible in every vintage. They can age for decades. 110 – 128° Oechsle.
Made from raisin-like, shrivelled, botrytised grapes, Trockenbeerenauslese is at the top of the Prädikatswein pyramid. Thanks to their enormous concentration of sweetness, acidity and extract, TBAs can age and improve for many decades. 150 – 154° Oechsle.
Eiswein (ice wine) is made from fully ripe, healthy grapes that have frozen on the vine: when the water in the grapes freezes, the grapes’ remaining juices become all the more concentrated. The mercury has to drop to at least -7°C for this to happen. The lower the temperature, the more concentrated the Eiswein 120 – 128° Oechsle.