For a long time Germany’s great dry wines lay in the shadows of their fruitier, sweeter siblings, particularly where UK palates were concerned. The home market had little interest in fruchtig wines opting to keep the bone dry trocken Rieslings to themselves. This frankly suited us down to the ground. However, recent developments in viticultural practices, a changing climate, and attitudes towards producing great dry wines has seen a new wave of truly balanced, intense and individual great dry wines emerge with the Grosses Gewachs sitting right at the very top of the tree.
One of the wonderful things about a very recent tasting of 11 top Grosses Gewachs, was the way it highlighted Riesling’s outstanding ability to transmit and articulate vineyard specific characteristics in dry wines. These wines are truly marked by their terroir.
When you look at top quality growers with great sites, old preconceptions about German dry wines being mean, tart and under ripe simply no longer apply. Without the safety net of luscious sweetness or noble rot, many German producers are now dedicating some of their very finest sites to the production of these powerfully compelling dry wines. And the absolute quality of fruit shone through in glass after glass yesterday.
The 11 on offer come from some of the very greatest names in Germany. Full tasting notes can be found on our site. Alternatively please see Julia Harding MW’s assessment of them on Jancis Robinson’s website www.jancisrobinson.com
Word seems to be spreading about the quality to be found in Germany’s great dry wines. We are proud to have been promoting these wines for seven vintages now. Taking a retrospective look at some of our earlier purchases yesterday afternoon, as they start to develop and blossom, it was clear to see this is a style of wine that is very easy to love.
With the exception of the Donnhoffs which would benefit from a couple of further years in bottle, all these wines are enormously enjoyable now, or comfortably cellared for those who appreciate the characteristics of mature Rieslings.
Vintages on offer:
2011 – A early flowering but normal harvest time, so a vintage where the grapes had a long hang time. Average summer but hot and sunny September October. Powerful wines, acidities in general just a touch below average, but with great levels of extract. A very good vintage.
2010 – Poor flowering, poor cool summer, low yields, late harvest under cool sunny skies in September and October. The best growers, who held their nerve and waited, produced stunning, crystal clear wines with strong mineral characteristics. The best are superb.
2009 – Late flowering and poor summer but a glorious warm sunny autumn with cool nights, that produced rich, ripe grapes with plenty of good acidity. Growers were delighted to have such glorious ripe fruit without a lack of acidity. Succulent GGs.