It’s an opportunity to sample and evaluate wines from Germany’s top vineyards – Erste Lage – prior their official market release on the first of September. Around 300 wines, 2010 Riesling GG and 2009 Spätburgunder GG are presented giving you an idea on the 2010 German Vintage.
Weather – “It was a challenging, labor-intensive vintage for the german winemakers. The extremely small crop was some 30 – 50 percent below average in size, averaging about 40 hl/ha for VDP member estates. Growing conditions varied considerably from region to region in 2010. Periods of poor weather during blossoming were one reason for this year’s small crop. Uneven fruit set resulted in few and/or very small berries. Severe hail damage further reduced yields in some regions, such as the Pfalz and Rheinhessen. Rain and cold weather in the second half of the summer retarded growth and led to irregular ripeness levels within parcels or even within individual bunches, whereby unripe fruit and ripe or overripe grapes were hanging side by side.
For winemakers who have considerable holdings in ERSTE LAGEN (top sites), the growing season ended with a very labor-intensive harvest that required several rounds of painstaking selection by considerable numbers of motivated pickers. Such selective harvesting by hand was yet another factor that reduced overall yields. The estates profited from the excellent autumn weather that turned things around. Yet, without accepting this loss, it would have been impossible to have brought in a healthy and thoroughly ripe crop. The first cask samples in November show wines that are clear-cut, with a taut play of fine fruitiness and mineral notes. They are rich in extract and aromas. Refreshing acidity will doubtlessly be one of the hallmarks of vintage 2010 wines. Acidity levels are even slightly higher than in 2008. Due to this year’s growing conditions, the wines have somewhat less alcohol than their predecessors.”
One of the most important decisions that a winemaker could make in 2010 was when and how to de-acidify. There are several different methods to successfully de-acidify ; whether to take this step when the wine is still in must prior to the onset of fermentation, or rather to do so after the wine has completed its fermentation.
Convictions about which method is the best of course varied. Most people believe that de-acidifying the must was the preferable way to go without sacrificing any aromatic or flavor complexity in the final wines. I don’t care about this technical topic, whether the winemaker X used this technique or winemaker Y used this approach. At the end of the day, in vino veritas.
Keller "Morstein" 4-5 weeks before the harvest
Tasting – I travelled with a lot of curiousity and awe to this tasting. It seems that the 2010 is not such an easy-drinking-style vintage like 2009 and I was curious how the winemakers would deal with the high acidity.
Surprisingly it turned out that it was a great joy taste
these Rieslings. Fair to say, I am a big fan of minerality, acidity and a pure, crisp style of Riesling. Especially the regions Nahe, Rheinhessen and Pfalz offered wonderful, precise, pure, dynamic collection’s of Rieslings with a big aging potential.
On the other hand I had to taste very carefully, as there were a certain amount of GG-wann-a-be to find at this tasting in Wiesbaden or they had de-acidity too much and lost balance & flavors. Again like last year, several wines shouldn´t have been released as a GG, especially from the region Rheingau.
I wonder why the estates don´t declassify these wines or why the local wine authorities give them the GG status. The region Franken underperformed a little bit with their Rieslings, but I think in a few months they will show better, as the wines were bottled only a few days, weeks ago. The region Mosel is clearly an enrichment for the german GGs with their elegance&finesse. Regarding Spätburgunder, I have to say that I have never tasted before better German Pinot
Noir than these stunning wines presented in Wiesbaden. I was deeply impressed by the overall quality of these wines. Never before they were such close in terms of finesse&complexity to their famous counterparts in Burgundy. I strongly recommend to buy these wines! Especially from the estates Stodden, Fürst and Becker.
The top wines from several top producers showed a stunning quality and I clearly prefer them to the 2009s. Best example is the estate Wittmann in Rheinhessen, last year the 09 GGs were quite good, but this year all 2010s are outstanding and clearly a notch better. Also the GGs from the region Pfalz were much better this year in comparison to last year. The hottest uprising estate at the moment was the young estate von Winning from the region.
– Despite the fact that the wines polarized the wine-journalists, some think the special use of oak is the wrong track, there are others who admired the high quality and special style of Riesling. But there is no doubt that it is an estate to watch for the future
. Last but not least, the overall winner of the vintage is Tim Fröhlich from the estate Schäfer-Fröhlich. Best collection of the year and strong contender for best dry riesling of the year with 2010 Felseneck GG.
Note: the wines of the estate KELLER were not presented…
Keller "Last grapes of the vintage
The following wines are my favourite’s from the tastings..
2010 Schäfer-Fröhlich Felseneck GG
2010 Schäfer-Fröhlich Felsenberg GG
2010 Schäfer-Fröhlich Halenberg GG
2010 Emrich-Schönleber Frühlingsplätzchen GG
2010 Emrich-Schönleber Halenberg GG
2010 Dönnhoff Dellchen GG
2010 Wittmann Morstein GG
2010 Wittmann Brunnenhäuschen GG
2010 Wittmann Kirchspiel GG
2010 Kühling-Gillot Pettenthal GG
2010 Kühling-Gillot Rothenberg GG
2010 Wagner-Stempel Heerkretz GG
2010 Battenfeld-Spanier Frauenberg GG
2010 Battenfeld-Spanier Schwarzer Hergott GG
2010 von Winning Pechstein GG
2010 von Winning Kirchenstück GG
2010 Bürklin-Wolf Kirchenstück GG
2010 A. Christmann Idig GG
2010 Basserman-Jordan Jesuitengarten GG
2010 Mosbacher Ungeheuer GG
2010 Rebholz Ganz Horn GG
2010 Fritz Haag Juffer-Sonnenuhr GG
2010 Geltz-Zilliken Rausch GG
2010 Dr. Loosen Würzgarten GG
2010 Clemens Busch Fahrlay GG
2010 Künstler Hölle GG
2010 Weil Gräfenberg GG
2009 Philipp Kuhn Kirschgarten GG
2009 Jean Stodden “Sonnenberg GG
2009 Jean Stodden “Herrenberg GG
2009 Jean Stodden Rosenthal GG
2009 Meyer-Näkel Pfarrwingert GG
2009 Meyer-Näkel Kräuterberg GG
2009 Huber Schlossberg GG
2009 Huber Sommerhalde GG
2009 Rudolf Fürst Hunsrück GG
2009 Rudolf Fürst Centgrafenberg GG
2009 Rudolf Fürst Schlossberg GG