The German 2003 vintage is set to become one of the best and most rare vintages for the country despite fears of over-exposure to the sun and reduced yields.

Although the overall yield was 20% below the long-term average, the long summer of 2003 ensured the young wines would have fruit and body. The Kabinett wines are already on the market and, due to the effects of the prolonged sunshine on alcohol levels, they will drink well early on although they may have a limited shelf life.

But the story from Germany is one of a long-term, exceptional wine.

‘The potential of this vintage is so great that even our grandchildren will find them a pleasure to drink,’ said Armin Göring, head of the German Wine Institute.

Not all wines have elicited such hopes. As the harvest was under way, those on the ground were saying that 2003 would be a year of extremes with little in between the very good and mediocre wines.

However, the finest wines will have to be bought quickly as experts are already predicting a sell-out year due to the low quantity and high quality of the wine.

The other surprise of the 2003 vintage will be the quality of Germany’s red wines. Pinot Noir is expected to become one of the most impressive of the harvest. Due to the fact that it is so unusual for Germany to produce red wines of special quality, there are hopes that this year’s vintage will place German red on the international market.

Written by Oliver Styles