Germany 2001: Keep
A great year: clean, concentrated, structured wines worthy of aging
A cool and humid spring in Germany retarded budding but warm and sunny weather returned at the end of May and flowering was successful in June. August was exceptionally hot and September was wet and cool enough to prevent the spread of grey rot. October came in with a roar with sunshine and temperatures above 25 C throughout the month, followed by morning mist in some regions in the first two weeks of November to encourage botrytis and fantastic Ausleses, BAs and TBAs. A ‘dream’ year for Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and a fine year for the other burgundian grapes.
Riesling was supreme in Mosel/Saar/Ruwer and almost as fine in MittelRhein, Nahe, Pfalz and Württemberg. Rheingau suffered from rain, hail and then rot but some top estates made very fine Rieslings. This was one of the finest Spätburgunder vintages in Ahr, Pfalz and Baden and Weissburgunder was very fine in Pfalz and Wonnegau in Rheinhessen. To the east in Franken, Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen the continental climate meant that the rain in September made it very difficult to make top quality wines.
This was the first vintage of ‘Grosses Gewächs’ dry Rieslings and they showed their style and quality and growers from the sunny south, who had made great dry Spätleses and Ausleses for decades, excelled themselves: from Pfalz, Mossbacher and Christmann and from Wonnegau in Rheinhessen, Wittmann and Keller. Many growers in Mosel including J.J. Prüm and Reinhold Haart made superb traditional Spätleses: Karthäuserhof in Ruwer made three amazing Ausleses and Max Ferd Richter made a Riesling Eiswein that was only the fifth wine of any sort ever to have been rated 100 in Gault Millau’s annual guide, the bible of German wines. Other great wines: Pfalz, Rebholz – Weissburgunder, Müller-Catoir – Grauburgunder: Wonnegau, Rheinhessen, Wittmann – Chardonnay. Wonderful Spätburgunders: Ahr, Meyer-Näkel: Baden, Johner: Franken, Fürst