We first heard about the wine classification trockenbeerenauslese in our WSET Level 2 class. We knew bottles of this dessert wine tend to be somewhat rare, so we were fairly surprised to find a bottle in a liquor store near us just a few weeks later.
So, what is it, exactly?
Trockenbeerenauslese in German translates to “dry berry selection” and is made from individually picked grapes that have been dried on the vine due to noble rot. In most cases having a fungus grow on your grapes is not a good thing, but proper growth of botrytis cinerea causes grapes to dry out which concentrates the sugars and allows for the production of some supremely wonderful, and sweet, dessert wines.
Hopler's Trockenbeerenauselese was just that.