Westhofen copy

Rheinhessen Riesling 2016: The Triumph of Subtlety

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, May 2018

In 2016, Mother Nature and Rheinhessen’s top growers seem to have made the same request of one another: “Cool it!” Happily, both complied. Without question, Rheinhessen growers have experienced two outstanding vintages in 2015 and 2016, but the latter boasts a surplus of wines that display the imponderable interplay of balance, elegance and charm, which to my palate give them a slight qualitative edge and an at least equal claim on cellar space.

Disibodenberg copy copy

Advantage Nahe: 2016 Riesling Excellence

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Apr 2018

No German Riesling region can boast more consistent and distinctively delicious success in vintage 2016 than the Nahe, but terroir and weather don’t offer the full explanation.

Ayler kupp copy

Saar & Ruwer: Beauties Despite a Bumpy 2016

Germany: Saar, Germany, Germany: Ruwer, featured

David Schildknecht, Mar 2018

The Saar and Ruwer yielded a wealth of wines with improbable balance and finesse considering the meteorological extremes that characterized the 2016 growing season.

Laurentiuslay  apotheke vom alta%cc%88rchen %28unicode encoding conflict%29 copy copy edited cover size

Mosel Riesling 2016 Part 2: Longuich to Graach

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Jan 2018

I discussed the travails and eventual triumph of vintage 2016 on the Mosel in my introduction to part one of this coverage, as well as some of the mysteries that still surround it and the personalities and aging potential of the resulting wines. Estates that were most seriously afflicted by downy mildew (and a few that were strafed by hail, such as in Graach) suffered significant crop losses, but nearly every grower I visited expressed delight with his or her 2016 quality, and quite a few turned in collections to challenge those of 2015.

1 kro%cc%88ver steffensberg %28unicode encoding conflict%29 cover copy

Mosel Riesling 2016 Part 1: From Extremes, Equilibrium

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Jan 2018

Weather that was extreme even by recent standards paradoxically generated some of the most even-tempered, charming Mosel Rieslings in years.

Keller   j. haart okt 2017 copy

Homes Away from Home

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Dec 2017

Will Klaus Peter Keller’s and Julian Haart’s startling announcements set a trend?

2 kupfergrube mit doma%cc%88ne copy

Rheinhessen and Nahe 2015: Cool Concentration from a “Warm Vintage”

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Nov 2017

Given the potential afforded by a cool, clear autumn following on the heels of a hot, dry summer, in conjunction with the exceptional abilities of so many growers, the top 2015s from Nahe and Rheinhessen offer plenty of excitement.


Vintage Report – 2016 in Germany and Austria

Germany, Austria, featured

David Schildknecht, Sep 2017

The weather extremes experienced in so many recent vintages have been accompanied increasingly by years featuring remarkably similar meteorological and growing patterns that stretch from the Mosel to parts of Austria nearly 400 flight miles distant. In the end, ironically, the drama that preceded it led to a 2016 Riesling harvest as stress-free as many Austrian and German growers could recall, and to grapes whose very gradual ripening and modest eventual must weights would have seemed more familiar to growers of the mid-20th century.

Juhfdwh3cyf1 copy

Vintage Preview – 2017 in Austria and Germany

Germany, Austria, featured

David Schildknecht, Sep 2017

It seems as though the climatic changes that help explain so many 21st century Riesling growing seasons of unprecedented extremes in weather are having this additional effect: For the third year in a row, in 2017 one can characterize the growing season for Riesling in Bernkastel on the Mosel in very similar terms to that in Krems on the Danube, exactly 400 crow-flying miles distant.

0 ru%cc%88d berg schlossberg cover

2015 Rheingau and Mittelrhein Riesling

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Sep 2017

There is less talent and ambition in the Rheingau and adjacent Mittelrhein than these regions deserve, but 2015 offered an outstanding opportunity for demanding growers to excel.