Sylvaner (Silvaner, Sylvaner, Grüner Silvaner) is a European white wine with a rich peach-herbal bouquet. According to its organoleptic and taste characteristics, the drink is similar to Pinot Gris. Wine Silvaner – dry, closer to semi-dry, medium-bodied, but closer to light-bodied, completely without tannins and with moderately high acidity. The strength of the drink can reach 11.5-13.5% vol.
This variety is characterized by great variability: depending on the vintage, terroir and manufacturer, the wine can turn out to be completely inexpressive, or it can be truly elegant, aromatic and of high quality. Due to its high acidity, Sylvaner is often diluted with other varieties such as Riesling.
Sylvaner is an ancient grape variety distributed throughout Central Europe, mostly in Transylvania, where it may have originated.
Now this variety is mainly used in Germany and French Alsace, for example, in a blend of varieties for wine Madonna’s Milk (Liebfraumilch). It is believed that Silvaner came to Germany from Austria in the 30th century, during the XNUMX Years’ War.
The name possibly comes from the Latin roots silva (forest) or saevum (wild).
After the Second World War, Germany and Alsace accounted for 30% and 25%, respectively, of all world Sylvaner vineyards. In the second half of the 2006th century, the variety was compromised: due to overproduction, outdated technologies and too dense plantings, the quality of the wine left much to be desired. Now Sylvaner is experiencing a renaissance, and in XNUMX one of the Alsatian appellations of this variety (Zotzenberg) even received Grand Cru status.
Sylvaner is the result of a natural cross between Traminer and Osterreichisch Weiss.
The variety has red and blue mutations, which occasionally make rosé and red wine.
Sylvaner vs. Riesling
Sylvaner is often compared to Riesling, and not in favor of the first: the variety lacks expressiveness, and production volumes cannot be compared with one of the most famous and sought-after German wines. On the other hand, Sylvaner berries ripen earlier, respectively, the risk of losing the entire crop due to frost is significantly reduced. In addition, this variety is less whimsical and can grow even in conditions in which nothing worthy would come out of Riesling.
For example, the production of Würzburger Stein produces a sample of Sylvaner, which surpasses Riesling in many characteristics. Mineral notes, nuances of aromatic herbs, citruses and melons are felt in this wine.
Production regions of Silvaner wine
- France (Alsace);
- USA (California).
The best representatives of this wine are produced in the German region Franken (Franken). The rich clay and sandstone soil gives the drink more body, makes the wine more structured, and the cool climate prevents the acidity from dropping too low.
French representatives of the style are more “earthy”, full-bodied, with a slight smoky aftertaste.
The Italian and Swiss Silvaner, on the contrary, is lighter, with delicate notes of citrus and honey. It is customary to drink such wine young, aging in the vinotheque for no more than 2 years.
How to drink Silvaner wine
Before serving, the wine should be cooled to 3-7 degrees. You can eat it with fruit salad, lean meat, tofu and fish, especially if the dishes are seasoned with aromatic herbs.