It may sound otherwise, but Huxelrebe is neither a reason to shout "Gesundheit" nor an infectious disease. Instead, it is one of the grape cross-breeds created in Germany in the 1920s, and like many of those it is now mostly grown in Germany and England. Huxelrebe is a very high yielding variety that easily reaches high sugar levels, but it can produce high quality wines if yields are reduced.
You will find dry Huxelrebe ("Rebe" means "vine"), but mostly they are sweet dessert wines, like this one from the Pfalz.
The colour of the wine is an intense gold that promises sweet goodness, very creamy and almost syrupy in the glass. The nose is as intense as the colour, a focussed fruit and sweetness explosion that blends together sweet, sharp honey, raisins and a gorgeous fruit basket of passion fruit, redcurrant and rhubarb purée.
And on the tongue? Sweetness galore, a sugary sledgehammer covered in velvet fruit cushions. Fruit essence fills your mouth with as much intensity as the sea coming in at high tide: red berries, passion fruit, sugar-coated raspberries and some lychee. It is sweet, very sweet indeed, but also has a pleasant bit of sharpness and what - in relation to the massive amount of residual sugar - must be very substantial acidity. The creamy, spicy finish is intense.
Very easy to drink, smooth and just plain yummy, this is not a dessert wine. The Huxelrebe replaces the dessert, and after two glasses you are guaranteed to drop into a most pleasant sugar coma. If taken with moderation, a great wine to go with sweet, fruity (or just any sweet) dessert, or if taken with even more moderation an excellent way to finish of the evening.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not so keen on the heavy dessert wines, but this Huxelrebe is, despite its intensity, very good and as well rounded as a sweet fruit bomb can ever be. It also lasts for ages - being away from London a lot recently I left an almost finished bottle in the fridge for three weeks, and the wine was still highly enjoyable when I finished it off yesterday.