vintage reports of the last years
The 2014 vintage has been another challenging year which needed a lot of wine making skills. The year started with a mild spring which led to an early bud break in the beginning of April. A cooler temperature slump led to a stagnation and favored the bud damage by pests such as the “Rombenspanner” (engl. willow beauty). Very locally but very significant damage was caused by this caterpillar. Times humid, sometimes warm, but always very changing weather accompanied the months of April and May through to the flowering of the vines at the beginning of June. Heavy rain led to a poor blossom in individual vineyards, which had a lower fruit set as a result.
Difficult climatic conditions require more effort in the vineyard …
The cool, wet summer demanded a lot of work from producers focusing on quality. In order to ensure the health of the vine, a significant workload in the canopy management was necessary as a loose and well aerated foliage wall is the best protection against fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and gray mold. Despite the bad weather, the vines and fruit were still in a good healthy state by September. Optimistically, we planned the start of the harvest as late as possible, but realized quickly that it was necessary to reschedule the harvest by bringing it forward by some ten days. With the increasing ripeness of the fruit and the ongoing humidity level caused by the weather, the risk of disease in the vineyards rose. Once again, as in recent years, a very fast and highly selective grape harvest was required. Especially vinegar rotten grapes made the picking a very difficult job, about ¼ of the grapes were cut out and dumped in the vineyard.
The efforts were worth it. We were able to produce wines from QBA (Qualitätswein) level to the high end Auslese Prädikatswein wines. 2014 is characterized by well-balanced, harmonious wines which are very playful on the palette with a nice fruitiness.
2014 – harmonious, well balanced wines with a lot of fruit …
2013 started with a very cool spring. The freezing temperatures slowed down the development of the vines and were responsible for a very slow bursting of the buds. The temperature profile changed only slightly during the months of April and May, resulting in a very slow and poor blooming. Flowering began around the 20th of June, 2013 the development was three weeks behind a “normal” vintage. By this point it was clear that the 2013 yield is going to be below average. Expectations were further dampened by severe storms with hail that caused even more losses. In some vineyards the additional damage was up to 30%. Especially in the vineyards for our Gutsriesling Wehlener Klosterberg, Erdener Herrenberg and Kinheimer Hubertuslay the vines were hit quite badly. Heavy hailstorm causes a kind of shock to the vines and slows down the physiological development. The winery expected a very late harvest. Starting in July, the weather changed suddenly and summer came with its full strength. Warm, but still quiet humid weather caused an early appearance of noble rot. A quick grape picking was necessary once infected.
2013 – light wines, a lot of minerals & character!
Despite the meteorological adversities the 2013 vintage has produced surprisingly good wines. Although the average of the must weights were “only” between 80 ° and 90 ° Oe, the wines produced have become extremely fruity with a lot of minerals. The tangy fruit acid provides a classic elegance and forms refreshing wines with character. The vintage shows particularly well in the off-dry and sweet Riesling style, which have a great balance and a juicy inner structure. Analogous to the lighter must weights the alcohol content of the 2013er vintage is a bit lower. The experiences of recent years have shown that vintages such as 2013 are ideal for long-term storage and maturing and have a very good ripening potential.
2013 – fresh, light wines with great aging potential!
The 2012 vintage continues the series of high-quality vintages on the Mosel. The year began with a cool, dry spring, which slowed down the busting of the buds compared to the previous years. The initial dryness was followed by quiet cool temperatures with less than 20 ° C in the early summer months. Exactly during the time of the flowering a long and lasting rain set in. Due to the weathering conditions the growth was very different in the vineyards. This affected the flowering period and the fruit set. As bad weather continued many flowers “trickled” with the result of yield losses between 20-30%. Especially the early varieties such as Pinot Blanc and Müller-Thurgau were hard-hit, some colleagues even reported a total crop failure. The turning point in view of weather came in late summer, where temperatures arose again and sunshine brought the golden-October. In the long-term average the 2012 vintage has been a “normal” vintage.
2012 must weights were between 85 ° and 110 ° Oe!
With up to 150 days vegetation period, measured from flowering to the grape harvest, the 2012 vintage was not exceptional. However, this was enough time to produce the important flavors in the grapes which are essential for outstanding wines. Due to the rain, the berries could store a huge amount of minerals. This creates wines with impressive flavor density, minerality and a wonderful, animating acidity. The weather conditions during the harvest itself were ideal which made it possible to harvest healthy grapes at the optimum of their physiological ripeness. The must weights for Riesling have been mainly at the quality level of Spätlese and Auslese and mostly ranged between 85 ° and 110 ° Oe . The highest quality levels such as Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese could not be produced. In the vineyards there was little “noble rot” and even less “raisins” to enable a selection for sweet dessert wine specialties.
2012 a vintage with aromatic wines and a wonderful animating acidity!
The year 2011 started with spring-like temperatures and a well-balanced ratio of rainfall in the months of February and March, leading to a very early budding of the vines. The persistent mild weather gave the vines a good head start, it was the earliest flowering since the beginning of data recording. The wine-media began speculating about a new “vintage of the century”. The high expectations of winemakers and wine connoisseurs were disillusioned by the late frosts occurring at many places in Germany. Some colleagues had to deal with a total crop failure in some of their vineyards. The Mosel wine growing region remained almost spared, because of their steep slopes. With a head start of up to four weeks, we went into summer, which has been rather cool and rainy. This slowed down the development only slightly. Many wineries had to expect a very early grape harvest. The disappointment came in form of heavy rain and extreme hail in late August. Fortunately, all the vineyards in our estate were either not, or only slightly hit by the tail of the storm. This kept the damage in our winery under control. The Autumn returned with its sunny, picture-perfect days and provided a well-deserved balance. Especially in the last days of the ripening period, the vines could literally soak up the sun again.
2011 up to 160 days growing season; record-breaking!
With 160 days vegetation period, measured from flowering to the grape harvest, the year 2011 was record-breaking. During this period, the grapes had plenty time to develope the, important flavours and to store a great amount of minerals in the berries, exactly what outstanding wines need, in order to achieve a great flavour profile and a mild acid structure. Due to the ideal weather conditions during harvest the grapes were very healthy and could be harvested at the optimum of their ripeness.
2011 is a vintage with fruity wines, which are characterized by their mild and ripe acidity!
2010 was from a viticultural point of view, a very special year. To find a comparable vintage in history, you have to go back to 1968. Due to frosty weather conditions, the development in the vineyard started a little bit later than usual. At the time of flowering an unsettled weather led to the first yield losses. The alternating weather conditions continued into the summer months and led to a different ripeness development in the grapes. Many, even older colleagues had not seen such a difference in the development between vineyard to vineyard! A selective grape harvest followed by a second sorting of the grapes was necessary and has been a special challenge. Some vineyards required up to three harvests to get all the grapes in their individual ripeness optimum into the cellar.
But what makes the vintage 2010 so special?
After the first processing of the grapes one was quite amazed. The musts flow with a, for the weather conditions rather unusually high must weight off the press. Especially from the steep slopes of the Ürziger Würzgarten, Goldwingert and Erdener Treppchen must weights were measured at 100 ° Oe and even higher. But this alone makes the vintage not that exceptional. Normally, ripeness has two sides, either the fruit is very ripe and contains, due to the high ripeness level, only a small amount of fruit acid, or vice versa. The special situation in the 2010 vintage was that the acidity levels were as as high as the sugar content. Wineries which were taking care about their wine making and grape picking and which invested a tremendous amount of work found ideal conditions in the 2010 vintage to produce exciting, well balanced sweet wines that have an incredible freshness and liveliness despite an enormous concentration and fruit.
2010 is a vintage with wines with great cellaring potential, which will provide much pleasure and fun during the next couple of decades, for sure!
The year 2009 is characterized by ideal weather conditions at a sunny autumn. Cool nights enhanced the flavor intensity of the grapes. The sunny September provided excellent conditions for outstanding Riesling wines. 2009 brought out ripe and round wines with a wonderful bouquet and concentration. Despite all the power and strength there is a perfect harmony of the individual components sweetness, acidity, fruitiness and alcohol.