German Riesling excels both in its sweet and dry varieties, said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Rieslings labeled “Kabinett” are less sweet, while other versions contain much more sugar. Riesling’s most appealing appellation, however, may be “Spatlëse”—a “thrillingly” balanced version that delivers a lively acidity to offset the sweetness. Our Times panel recently tasted 25 bottles and gave top marks to these.

Schäfer-Fröhlich Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Spätlese 2007 ($40) One of only two wines to earn three and a half stars. Delicate and fragile, “with beautiful aromas and flavors.”

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese 2007
($29) “Best value.” A complex, minerally wine that also earned three and a half stars.

Wegeler Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Bernkasteler Doctor Spätlese 2007
($90) “Beautiful” but “painfully” expensive. Lime and apricot flavors.