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Posted by Stephen Bitterolf

Germany’s 2010ers are extreme.

At the Rudi Wiest tasting in New York I was poured an Auslese from the Pfalz harvested at a simply ludicrous ripeness level. The wine felt like molasses on speed frazzled by battery acid. I stepped back and stumbled to catch my balance. I felt like someone had just thrown a bowling ball at my face that was laced with dark sweaty fruit and unripe limes.

Posted by Joe Salamone

It seems like 2009 may be the year that Beaujolais overcomes its perennial image problems and finally gets some of its due respect.

Indeed, from our vantage point, real Cru Beaujolais is at the tipping point. While the top wines have been sought out by wine geeks for years, this spring has marked the first time we've received so many inquiries from top Burgundy collectors who seem to have 2009 Beaujolais on their radar right alongside the impending 2009 red Burgs.

Posted by Stephen Bitterolf

2009 is a very, very, VERY, VERY, VERY good vintage – heed the provocative use of all caps, bolding and underline.

Indeed, though only time will tell, 2009 has all the potential to be great.

Already the critics are tripping over themselves, trying to put 2009 in the proper context, avoiding, as best they can, comparing 2009 with 2007. (It’s embarrassing, after all, to have a vintage of the decade every other year.) My best guess is that the 2009s will come into the market with a bit more calm, a bit more critical introspection. Because of the times, the embarrassment of riches that Germany has had in the last decade, I sense that the 2009s will enjoy fewer grand proclamations, less pomp and circumstance, perhaps little of the mania that welcomed in the 2007s. That said, qualitatively, there may not be that great of a difference; we’ll have to see how these two vintages distinguish themselves over time.



Left: In the Graacher Domprobst, looking down onto the sleepy town of Graach and the Mosel River beyond it.


Mosel

Click here to skip ahead to A.J. Adam
Click here to skip ahead to Reinhold Haart
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Nahe

Click here to skip ahead to Schäfer-Fröhlich
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Rheinhessen

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Posted by Stephen Bitterolf

To see the 2008 Germany Vintage Report in its entirety, click here.

Click here to read about A. J. Adam
Click here to read about Donnhoff.

Posted by Stephen Bitterolf

Do you just want to read about the individual growers and their wines? Scroll down...

It's a ludicrous title for a vintage report, I know.

Still, I'm sticking with this title because it's stuck with me, ever since I shook Oliver Haag's hand goodbye and left my first tasting appointment of the 2008 vintage in Germany. (That was, by the way, April 18th, 2009, just to give you some context).

Let me try and explain what I mean by the word "important." The 2008 vintage presents, for the first time in some years, an authentic snapshot of what we used to mean by the words "Kabinett" and "Spatlese." If the last few years have turned the stage over to the Baroque masterpieces, the epics with layer after dripping layer, in 2008 we find something more intimate, smaller...2008 is less Wagnerian Opera and more Chamber music. Less the expansiveness of Jackson Pollock and more the detailed, tight, etched spaces of Albrecht Durer. For those of you who know sports, enter some sports analogy here. 2008 is concise and sharp.

Posted by Stephen Bitterolf

Just about everything you need to know about the 2007 German vintage, incorporating notes from Rudi Wiest, Therry Theise, Lars Carlberg of the Mosel Wine Merchant, Gernot Kollmann of Weingut Knebel and John Gilman of the newsletter A View from the Cellar.

Could it get any better than that?

Yes, it can because the great 2007ers of Germany are classics with just epic wines at the Kabinett and Spatlesen level while the Auslesen are good to very, very good. And unlike 2006 (not to mention 2005 and 2003) which produced opulent Auslesen and above at the expense of the featherweight Kabinetts, 2007 has it all. Shimmering Kabinetts, absolutely profound Spatlesen, Auslesens that are clean and sleek... Wow.

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