In contrast with the previous three, rich vintages, the 2008 Rieslings are typified by great freshness and fine acidity, similar to the stimulating 2004 and 2002s. Many estates made excellent everyday drinking wines and Kabinetts with good fruit and crispness. Further up the scale are dry wines with character and purity of style, some fine Spätleses and a few great Ausleses, painstakingly picked by grape-by-grape selection. 2008 is also a fine vintage for Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris in Pfalz, Rheinhessen and Baden - also for Silvaner, and celebrating the 350th anniversary of its first planting in Germany, in Franken. The dry Grosses Gewächs (Grand Cru) wines are not released until the September following the vintage and many 2007 wines are already sold, so I have included just one outstanding 2007 Riesling as an example. The top quality 2008 Pinot Noirs will not be in bottle until early in 2010 but I understand are showing great promise. Freddy Price. (You can read Freddy's full article in the August issue of Decanter magazine - OUT NOW)

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