Late Harvest Riesling Wine: 10 Exceptional Bottles, Prices (2024)

by Hunter Robillard

Late harvest Riesling wine is produced from Riesling grapes left on the vine past their peak ripeness. This results in some of the world’s finest dessert wines with high sugar content and a balanced acidity.

You can relish sweet Riesling with hearty meals on cool nights, pair it with spicy lunch appetizers, and even serve it to complement your favorite desserts!

In this article, we’ll uncover 10 exquisite late harvest Riesling wines, the best foods to pair with them, the vinification process, and the different late harvest Riesling styles.

Further reading

10 Best Late Harvest Riesling Wines to Buy in 2024

Here are 10 alluring late harvest Riesling wines to try in 2024:

1. 1976 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Selected Late Harvest Johannisberg Riesling ($318)


This golden-hued late harvest Riesling from Joseph Phelps Vineyards offers addictive caramel, maple syrup, and honeyed apricot notes with subtle hints of petroleum.

2. 2006 Chateau St Jean Late Harvest Riesling ($171)


Here’s a charming, sweet dessert wine with a yellow gold color and ripe aromas of nectarine in a delicious palate of dried apricot and green apple.

3. 2002 Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Riesling ($115)


This lush New Zealand late harvest wine is one of the country’s sweetest alcoholic beverages defined by a citrus blossom and marmalade bouquet. Its vibrant acidity is offset by exquisite white fruit and peach flavors.

4. 1999 Freemark Abbey 'Edelwein Gold' Late Harvest Riesling ($92)


The lush grapefruit, honey, and nut aromas of this delightful Napa Valley wine complement its sumptuous apricot nectar and lemon curd notes.

5. 2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Reserve Late Harvest Riesling ($84)


Here’s a balanced sweet wine with ripe aromas of poached pear, zesty citrus, and stone fruit in a charming palate of pineapple and peach.

6. 2019 Navarro Vineyards Cluster Select Late Harvest Riesling ($78)


This is a sweet wine with a complex flavor profile of green apple, apricot, and honey. It can age for up to ten years in the bottle and offers a lingering finish.

7. 2017 EOS Estate Tears of Dew Late Harvest Riesling ($45)


Here’s an indulgent, well-balanced late harvest Riesling that boasts addictive citrus blossom, ripe melon, and dried apricot scents. The palate is equally decadent with golden raisin, white nectarine, and honeysuckle flavors.

8. 2018 Hermann J. Wiemer Late Harvest Riesling ($35)


This lively, sweet dessert wine presents an elegant floral and zesty citrus nose with notes of peach, apricot, and pineapple on the palate. It is also one of the sweetest alcoholic beverages made with Riesling grapes.

9. 2018 Chateau Grand Traverse Late Harvest Riesling ($15)


Here’s a golden color wine that opens with melon and stone fruit aromas and has sumptuous grapefruit, honeysuckle, and poached pear flavors.

10. 2011 Hogue Cellars Late Harvest Riesling ($14)


This remarkable late harvest wine is defined by an immediate sweetness followed by a slightly bitter finish. Rich honey, orange zest aromas complement the wine’s nectarine, golden raisin, and apricot nectar notes.

Serving Tips and Best Food Pairings for Late Harvest Riesling Wine


Serve a late harvest Riesling wine chilled at cool temperatures of 7 to 13 degrees Celsius.

These wines work great with spicy food and desserts like lemon cream pie, cheesecake, blue cheese, apple pie, creme brulee, and lemon pound cake.

Late Harvest Riesling Wine Styles


Depending on their sugar content, German late harvest Riesling wines are labeled as:

  • Spatlese: Dry to medium sweet wine produced from ripe, late harvest Riesling grapes
  • Auslese: Moderately sweet wine made from selected late harvest Riesling grapes
  • Beerenauslese: Highly sweet wine produced from late harvest grapes, some of which are infected with noble-rot
  • Trockenbeerenauslese:Super sweet wine stylemade from completely “botrytized” Riesling grapes
  • Eiswein (ice wine): Sweet wine produced from botrytized grapes naturally frozen on the vine and with high sugar content 

Fun fact: Noble rot or botrytized Riesling grapes are grapes infected with the “Botrytis cinerea” fungus that causes them to shrink like musty raisins. Botrytis infection usually occurs at the end of the growing season, closer to harvest time between late September and late October. 

Late Harvest Riesling: Winemaking and Wine Regions


During winemaking: 

  • The late harvest grapes are pressed as whole clusters. 
  • After that the wine goes through a slow fermentation process at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. This preserves the grapes’ high residual sugar content and gives the wine a layered burnt caramel flavor with some capacity for aging.

The main regions where late harvest Riesling wines are made are:

  • Germany (the leading producer of Riesling wines)
  • The French Alsace region (the wines are labeled as “Vendage tardive”.)
  • The United States (Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley)
  • Parts of Australia and New Zealand

Enjoy the Elegant Sweetness of a Late Harvest Riesling Wine

Late harvest Riesling is a luscious wine with a dazzling spectrum of intense fruit flavors that you can sip on cool nights or at cosy family dinners. Get hold of a bottle or two of these sumptuous labels to surprise friends at your next dinner party.


Now, if you’re a wine enthusiast looking to invest in some delectable Riesling or other fine bottles, visit the Vinovest website. It is the ultimate, AI-based platform that lets you buy, store, and sell authentic wine labels from around the world.

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