A great vintage, with best wines showing magnificent balance of richness and acidity
The budding was early and the flowering started early but was affected by bad weather which reduced the size of the potential crop. Summer showers in July and August enhanced the development of the vines and indicated a very early start to the ripening process. The ideal balance between the amount of sunshine and gentle rain caused must weights to soar, so that the vintage could be started in the middle of October. Perfect weather continued right through to the end of the vintage in the second half of November and during this period the early morning mist encouraged botrytis to develop.
The wines of Mosel/Saar/Ruwer, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Pfalz were all of the very highest quality, concentrated but subtle and with the magic harmony of richness and acidity which allowed them to develop over such a long period.
This vintage can be compared with some of the greatest of the last fifty years – 1953, 1959, 1976 and 1990. There is more botrytis than in 1990, and less than in 1976. Every top estate made some great wines at every level from Spatlese to Trockenbeerenauslese and they are still at their peak. Noteworthy were Zilliken and Egon Muller on the Saar, Fritz Haag and J.J. Prum on the Mosel, Schloss Johannisberg in Rheingau and Burklin-Wolf in the Pfalz.