Germany 2016 En Primeur: The Vintage Report - All’s well that ends well

Germany 2016 En Primeur: The Vintage Report - All’s well that ends well

Tuesday 5th September 2017
by Julian Campbell

Following a great vintage is never easy. The abundance of quality found in 2015, from lowly estate wines to top Grosses Gewächs, is incredibly rare. 


Unsurprisingly it is impossible to state that 2016 can compete in the sheer breadth of its brilliance. And yet, if we narrow our field of vision, there are undoubtedly plenty of individual wines in 2016 which will happily stand shoulder to shoulder with their 2015 counterparts – and in a refreshingly different style.

Where 2015 gave us wines with huge reserves of fruit and concentrated, intense characters, 2016 is more subtle and charming, with cool fruit flavours, complex minerality and often a touch of herbal freshness. There is an exemplary purity and old fashioned refinement to the best of these 2016s which makes them an absolute delight to taste. As one grower noted, “they are more Art House than Blockbuster”. Acidities are ripe, integrated and often play in the background, making way for clearly presented, precise Riesling flavours to take centre stage. They are going to be tremendously drinkable.

Germany 2016: Welcome to Wiesbaden…

Germany 2016: Welcome to Wiesbaden…

Sunday 3rd September 2017
by Mark Dearing

The annual preview of the latest VDP Grosses Gewachs (GGs) in Wiesbaden is widely considered the best and most comprehensive dry Riesling tasting in the world. 

Invitations are scarce and attendees hand-picked to ensure that the Kurhaus Kolonnade is for three days a year filled with the world’s leading German wine experts. Justerini & Brooks was privileged to be invited this year to join for an in-depth look at the latest releases from all over Germany.

With impeccable organisation, the tasting is conducted in perfect conditions. Approximately 500 wines are submitted for tasting, comprising all the major German grape varieties, meticulously arranged in flights organised by region, village and individual vineyards. Over the three days, I focused on 2016 GG Rieslings from the Nahe, Rheinhessen and Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, as well as the latest 2015 Spatburgunders from the Rheingau, Baden and Pfalz.

Kloster Eberbach: A tasting in the Rheingau’s spiritual home...

Kloster Eberbach: A tasting in the Rheingau’s spiritual home...

Saturday 2nd September 2017
by Mark Dearing

After an early start in London I’d arrived in Frankfurt, already running late for a very special tasting at the Kloster Eberbach. 

Kloster Eberbach has played a key role in religion and winegrowing since its founding in 1136. Supported by the state for its ancient, cultural significance, this former Cistercian monastery continues to produce wine from some of the Rheingau’s most historic vineyards. There I would meet with the gregarious Andreas Spreitzer of Weingut Josef Spreitzer, and together with the great and the good of the Rheingau, we would taste the latest 2016 Riesling Grosses Gewachs (GGs) from all over the region. Following this would be a truly one-of-a-kind library tasting of single-vineyard state wines Marcobrunn and Hollenberg stretching as far back as the 1940s, before an evening revisiting a selection of the top 2015 Rheingau GGs at Weingut Robert Weil.

Harvest begins at Champagne Philipponnat

Harvest begins at Champagne Philipponnat

Friday 1st September 2017
by Julian Campbell

Thomas Jorez of Champagne Philipponnat shares the harvest report with Justerinis, straight from the vineyards of Clos des Goisses.

“The harvest started at Philipponnat on Thursday 31st August, with Les Cintres plots in Le Clos des Goisses. We gathered 3520 kg of grapes, after careful sorting in the vineyard during the picking, our estimation is that we had to discard around 10% of the crop. This is quite a low yield in the region, and a lower yield than last year’s on the same plots.”

A Tasting with Gilles Desprez of Leroy

A Tasting with Gilles Desprez of Leroy

Friday 14th July 2017
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Long before Lalou-Bize Leroy started up her eponymous domaine in 1988, Maison Leroy had built itself a reputation as the finest negociant house in Burgundy. 

Originally founded by Francois Leroy in 1868, the house became famous for its collection of old vintages as much as being a key shareholder in and global distributor of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti until 1992 (except for the United States and the UK.) Francois' great grand-daughter, Lalou-Bize, joined the family firm in 1955 and then became Directeur General in 1971.  With the help of investment from a Japanese distributor, Lalou purchased vineyards and created Domaine Leroy.  Setting about a relentless search for quality and embarking on a pioneering bio-dynamic revolution, she soon became one of Burgundy's icons.  

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