Created in 1882, by oenologist Hermann Müller, from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau (see what he did there?), Müller-Thurgau was believed, for many years, to be a crossing of Riesling and Sylvaner. This turned out not to be true. In 1996, after extensive DNA testing, the crossing was revealed to be Riesling and a far more obscure varietal, Madeleine Royale. However, the misnomer of Rivaner (RIesling and SylVANER) has stuck, and throughout Germany and Austria, the two names are interchangeable.
In the past, Müller-Thurgau (MT) was made into bland, neutral and slightly sweet wines. Unfortunately, this destroyed its reputation, and many of the vines were pulled up and replaced with other varietals. However, there are many vignerons now making MT into a varietal wine with complexity and depth. Typically, MT shows aromatic fruit characters on the nose, with ripe apple and stone fruit notes. The best examples have a good acid line, and show a complex minerality as well.
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