Germany 2004: Keep
Fresh, fruity white wines with pronounced aromas; good colour and density are the hallmarks of this vintage’s red wines
The weather was excellent – always warm enough, with a welcome shower now and then just when needed but never too much, and not least, a truly ‘golden October’ full of sunshine just at the final stage of ripening.
‘One could literally taste the increasing sweetness of the grapes from day to day,’ said Armin Göring, managing director of the German Wine Institute in Mainz/Germany, as he described the course of ripening. ‘Our expectations with regard to the quality of the 2004 vintage have been more than fulfilled. It is on a par with the excellent vintages of the past three years and an ideal complement to the exceptional 2003 vintage.’
Thanks to the overall healthy state of the grapes, wine-growers could take their time in determining the ideal time to harvest, despite occasional autumn rain and storms. At the same time, the variation between warm daytime and cool night time temperatures fostered the development of the grapes’ aromas, a phenomenon that helps lend German wines their unique, fresh fruity character. In several top sites in the Rhine, Mosel and Main river valleys, grapes were left on the vine until well into November in order to ripen sufficiently to yield top-quality and lusciously sweet dessert wines – particularly Riesling wines.
All regions in Germany excelled this vintage including Württemberg, Sachsen, Ahr Valley, Baden, Franken, Hessische Bergstrasse, Mittelrhein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheingau, and Rheinhessen
Wittmann, Heyl zu Herrnsheim, Georg Mosbacher