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Saar Riesling 2018: Beating the Heat

Germany: Saar, featured

David Schildknecht, Jul 2020

The precocious 2018 vintage with its hot, dry summer, held the potential for wines short on acidity and high in alcohol. Fortunately, adept growers worked successfully to avoid that outcome, and estate owners nearly everywhere saw a combination of generous ripeness with unexpectedly abundant yields. This report focuses on the Saar, whose hills and side valleys are known for being cooler and breezier, and for birthing Rieslings correspondingly more acid-retentive and buoyant.

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Germany 2018: The Nahe – Leading by a Nose

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Jun 2020

There is a lot to like from 2018 in Germany: both multiple attractive features and a lot of wines to exemplify them. And then there are the exceptions, including the vintage’s genuinely exciting Rieslings, of which, yet again, many are found on the Nahe.

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Multifarious 2017 Mosels: Graach to Grünhaus

germany: Mosel, featured

David Schildknecht, Apr 2020

Local weather conditions and harvest decisions go a long way toward explaining why quite a few Mosel growers struggled to achieve excellence in 2017 and a minority of those scored memorable successes. Continuing upstream, I offer my second of two reports on the 2017 vintage Mosel Rieslings, here including those from estates based along the Ruwer.

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Multifarious 2017 Mosels, Part 1: Winningen to Wehlen

germany: Mosel, featured

David Schildknecht, Jan 2020

Along the Mosel, local weather conditions, vine genetics and snap picking decisions counted in 2017 for almost as much as site, viticultural regimen or talent. Superb wines are numerous, but still the exceptions.

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The Saar’s Deliciously Diverse 2017s

Germany: Saar, featured

David Schildknecht, Oct 2019

In 2017, the better Saar Rieslings benefited from their region’s generally cooler, breezier conditions vis-à-vis the Mosel proper, to achieve mouthwatering ripeness while avoiding unwelcome botrytis.

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Rheingau & Mittelrhein Riesling: Rising to 2017’s Challenges

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Aug 2019

With more than their share of stormy weather, both literally and figuratively, the Rheingau and Mittelrhein yielded significantly varying quality in 2017, with some exciting successes.

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Rheinhessen 2017: Perseverance Rewarded

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Jul 2019

Rheinhessen Riesling vines that escaped devastation by late April frost and a savage August 25 hailstorm were still exposed to punishing May-July drought. But growers soldiered on and, with help from subsequent meteorological breaks, were rewarded with impressive results.

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Nahe Riesling 2017: Chills and Thrills

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Apr 2019

The Nahe suffered significant crop losses to April frost. But when unseasonably chilly weather arrived once again after mid-September, it proved a blessing, allowing the creation of wines that combine aromatic finesse and textural allure with invigorating energy and infectious sheer juiciness.

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German Riesling 2017: No Pfalz Sense of Security

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Mar 2019

Following a growing season that their 20th-century predecessors would have considered an impossible dream come true, Pfalz vintners took nothing for granted – and were handsomely rewarded.

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A Preview of 2018 and 2017 in Germany and Austria

Germany, Austria, featured

David Schildknecht, Jan 2019

In canvassing Germany’s precarious vintage 2000 for The International Wine Cellar in early 2002, I led off by observing: “The decade of the 1990s was an extraordinary one for German vintners. At its midpoint (back in Issue 64), I wrote: ‘We are in the midst of a streak of vintages utterly unprecedented in the history of German viticulture.’ And I hadn’t seen or tasted the half of it....!"