Ten best 'Erste Lage' German wines - The top 10

This year's VDP (Association of Quality Wine Estates) tasting comprised 260 'Grosses Gewächs' wines ('Erstes Gewächs' for Rheingau). The majority of these were Riesling, with Silvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir making up a third. Top classified Grosses Gewächs wines are released on 1 September in the year following the vintage, or in the case of Pinot Noir on 1 September two years after the harvest. In contrast with the three preceding, rich vintages, the 2008 dry whites have great freshness and fine acidity - showing parallels with the stimulating 2004 and 2002 vintages - while a hot spring and fine summer proved ideal for the 2007 Pinot Noirs.

Wine name Producer Country Region Vintage

Fritz Haag, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel

Fritz Haag Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2008

August Kesseler, Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Erstes Gewachs, Rheingau

August Kesseler Germany Hessen 2008

Emrich-Schonleber, Monzinger Fruhlingssplatzschen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe

Emrich-Schonleber Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2008

Wagner-Stempel, Seifersheim Heerkrezt Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Rheinessen

Weingut Wagner-Stempel Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2008

Weingut Wittmann, Wonnegau Westhofen Morstein Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Rheinhessen

Wittmann Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2008

Christmann, Konigsbach Idig Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz

Christmann Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2008

Dr Heger, Ihringer Winklerberg Pinot Noir Grosses Gewachs, Baden

Dr Heger Germany Baden-Wurttemberg 2007

Oekonomierat Rebholz, Siebeldingen Im Sonnenschein 'Ganshorn' Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz

Oekonomierat Rebholz Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2008

Jean Stodden, Ahrweiler Rosenthal Pinot Noir Grosses Gewachs, Ahr

Jean Stodden Germany Rheinland-Pfalz 2007

Furstlich Castell'sches Domanenamt, Castell Schossberg Silvaner Grosses Gewachs, Franken

Furstlich Castell'sches Domanenamt Germany Bayern 2008