SOMMELIERS (1973) Professor Claus J Riedel was the first designer to recognise that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines are affected by the shape of the glass from which they are consumed. In the late 1950s, RIEDEL started to produce glasses which at that time were a design revolution. Thin-blown, unadorned, reducing the design to its essence, bowl, stem, base.
Working with experienced tastes, RIEDEL discoverd that wine enjoyed from his glasses showed more depth and better balance than when served in other glasses. In 1961, a revolutionary concept was introduced, when the RIEDEL catalogue featured the first line of wine glasses created in different sizes and shapes. The concept illustrated to perfection with the introduction of the SOMMELIERS series in 1973, which achieved worldwide recognition. A glass was born that turns a sip into a celebration – a wine?s best friend – fine-tuned to match the grape!
Glass series: SOMMELIERS RIESLING GRAND CRU
Item number: 4400/15
Height: 226 mm, 8-7/8″
Capacity: 380 ccm, 13-3/8 oz
Widest diameter: 81 mm, 3-1/8″
Price Category: $$$
The Riesling grape variety produces some of the finest white wines, in which high acidity is balanced with residual sugar. Austria saw the dawn of a new era of winemaking in the 1980s. The best crus of Riesling from the sunniest sites were harvested extremely late, yielding grape musts with high sugar levels, concentrated fruit and typical Riesling acidity levels. When fermented to dryness the resulting wine has an alcoholic strength of 13-14%, with 2-4 grams of residual sugar. Fresh acidity and high levels of mineral components can produce an intense wine with wonderful peach aromas. The wine also ages exceptionally well, with its color changing slightly to give the typical hue of an aged Riesling. In search of the shape that would best match this new style, Stuart Pigott, a British wine journalist specialising in Riesling, put together a tasting of the finest 1990 vintages from Germany, France and Austria. Riedel sent a selection of glasses for evaluation, suspecting – correctly – that their Chianti Classico (Item No. 400/15) glass might prove ideal. This tasting was subsequently repeated in London, Paris and New York, raising awareness among wine writers of the new Riesling styles. The wines were presented exclusively in this glass, which henceforth also goes under the name of the Sommeliers Riesling Grand Cru.