Taste of kerosene in Riesling - recommendations

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a Riesling from TWS where the divisive kerosene taste is unmistakably present. I don’t think that I had any Riesling where this was more than a hint or so I think… Thanks in advance.

I can’t help you with a recommendation, @szaki1974, but it’s quite common for the kerosene note to need several years of cellaring before it deigns to put in an appearance. 5+ I would say, though 10+ would be safer. There are exceptions - some 2006 Alsace rieslings showed it immediately. Some rieslings never develop it.

Tom Stevenson has published a paper on this which is well worth reading :-
Kerosene and riesling.

Certainly riesling is the first port of call for this flavour, but it’s not the only grape to show it. I’ve come across it with Romorantin (Cour Cheverny) and Marsanne-based blends (Roussillon) wines in sunny years. I’ve also heard of it occuring in white S. Rhones. Always in sunny years and always after some cellaring though.

Here’s an example from the Society’s current offerings :-

(Chenin blanc)


The most kerosene wine I have had recently was this:

Bottle age tends to be the main factor, I think the hot 2003 vintage may have magnified this. I have found that even some 2015 Rieslings are beginning to show some kerosene hints now.

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I have not had this wine from the 2015 vintage but this never displays the kerosene aroma at this age. It’s a lovely wine and would recommend.
It’s one of my go to Alsace rieslings


There is a (small) hint on the 2014 Reserve

Trimbach wines are lovely - big fan of the Muscat Reserve as well!

This wine takes years to get rid of the petrol

@Ghost-of-Mr-Tallis is correct in saying an Alsace needs a number of years cellaring to develop the unmistakable “kerosene” taste . I remember watching a webinar by Thierry Meyer on all things Alsace, and he states this exact point with an average of 7 years being the point where the wines start develop this aroma and taste . He also notes that if a much younger Alsace wine is displaying then potentially there’s in fact something “wrong” with the wine . He notes that specific village terroir has an effect on when the Reislings develop this, with some villages needing over 10 years and some a little earlier. Clare & Eden valley Reislings often show this on very young wines and again it’s suspected it’s terroir related .


German Riesling usually does this at a younger age than Alsace, particularly later harvest versions, but usually takes 4-10 years to do so. I was surprised at what I found in the Trimbach reserve, but it was a ‘hint’ rather than a strong wiff.

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You are quite right, I have purchased and drank a larger than normal amount of German Riesling over many years and it is still not a common occurence, but i have opened a Kabinett quality at three years and it has been “petrolled”.
There seem to be various opinions on this , some believe it is a wine fault others no more than something happening in the ageing process, personnaly the few times I have encountered it there has not been a problem, it was just another nuance to the wine, it is not as if someone has poured unleaded into the bottle !
But again of all the hundreds of German Rieslings of all levels of quality that have passed my way ! very few showed that trait.
Leah quotes an Alsace producer who says that something is wrong if petrol is noticed and I believe Chapoutier said similar about his Alsace Riesling, but I never heard a German producer say that and they know more about that grape than anyone else, so who knows another little quirk in the world of wine.

This is one thought on it but no doubt there are others.

"That whiff of petrol, kerosene, gasoline or paraffin that can be found in wines like Riesling is because of a chemical compound known as TDN (1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene), which can form as a byproduct of a wine’s aging process.

While some might find it strange, I love that distinctive note, especially if it’s in balance with other elements. I’ve heard that it becomes more pronounced in grapes that are very ripe, or dehydrated, but both of those things concentrate all types of notes in wine, not just the petrol ones."


I just love that characteristic smell on a Riesling. I read that Australian rieslings often exhibit a petrol smell much younger than old world versions

I can’t recommend anything from TWS but the Tim Adams from Tesco is a very decent inexpensive option that from memory has some petrol on the nose

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I’ll second the Tim Adams and also their Semillion :+1:.


I think this does a pretty good job at kerosene for a young wine. I typically play my mad tasting note card and say ‘new tennis balls’ and ‘garden hose’ but there’s certainly a whiff of petrol.


Robert Oatley porongurup riesling is another that has that kerosene aroma.

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I’d go for an Eden or Clare Valley Riesling, they tend to develop petrol/kerosene notes earlier than Germany, usaually around 4~5yrs

While it will be a few years before this displays it’s kerosene notes, I cannot overstate how well Grosset’s Polish Hill ages. Pop this one in Reserves and drink over the next 20 years


Only had it young (the wine) but did love it. Might follow your advice.

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That’s what I love about a good Riesling - young or old it’ll still be a real treat


Drinking the Society’s 2017 Blind Spot clare valley riesling this evening, and there’s definitely a subtle petrol note in there already


Have to add this old world Riesling with more weight. Star at last week’s club tasting.

Had this over the weekend. It’s amazing now (is a Wine Champ) and has plenty of kerosene and an amazingly oily texture. It’ll last for ages so would be interesting to see how much more intense it gets over the coming two/three years.