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En Primeur

Justerini & Brooks
En Primeur Germany

Since the 1997 vintage we have seen a complete revival of Germany’s fortunes as a producer of world-class wine. Led by the aristocratic Riesling variety and a growing band of first class producers, the country finally seems to be enjoying the recognition it truly deserves.

It is a fact that, British journalists, sommeliers and trade buyers are some of Riesling’s most loyal and persistent customers, clamouring for wine from the likes of JJ Prum, Fritz Haag, Donnhoff, Keller and Carl von Schubert. This most noble of wines is not only utterly delicious, but in today's modern, fast-moving world of over consumption, these delicate Rieslings are refreshing and light, 'weighing in' at anything between 7.5% to 12.5% alcohol. Historically the British have focussed their attentions on the great pradikat wines from Kabinett to TBA, all with a little residual sugar. Nowadays, the great dry wines with the Grosses Gewachs at the pinnacle are also finding favour and provide a similarly stimulating antidote to the more recent trend of overly full-bodied, alcoholic wines.

Germany 2019

Riesling’s Reign

Germany’s 2019 vintage is clearly rather special and has even been described as a potential “vintage of the century” by one commentator. However, had this label been bandied about at harvest time you’ve have been hard pressed to find a grower to confirm that view – over repeated zoom calls during the summer I was met with surprise and delight at how the vintage has turned out. From best-ever estate wines to aristocratic Grosses Gewächs, and many a luscious-yet-lively sweetie, there are some truly thrilling wines in this years’ 2019 offer. Stylistically it is a hard year to pigeonhole as overall the wines present a wonderfully complex and somewhat rare blend of intense minerality married to ripeness. As Frank Schönleber noted, the wines have “the flavours of a cool vintage allied to the structure of a warm one” - a decidedly delicious combination and one that is guaranteed to win many friends in the years to come.

Germany 2018

Germany’s 2018 vintage is one that will go down in the records books for several reasons. It is possibly the biggest, almost certainly the earliest, and very likely one of the driest on record – a vintage that saw almost uninterrupted sunshine from May until harvest started in mid- September. Most regions had one or two refreshing rain events during the growing season, but otherwise it was sunny, warm, and overall, exceptionally dry. There was no frost, and almost nothing lost to hail – the most notable exceptions being two of Klaus-Peter Keller’s top sites Morstein and Abts E, both of which had their production trimmed by around one third by a severe hail storm on the 1st June.

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