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German Grosses Gewächs: Top 2021 whites and 2020 reds

Caro Maurer MW rates the new German Grosses Gewächs 2022 releases, picking her top whites and reds.

It is 20 years since the Grosse Gewächs (GG) made its first public appearance. In September 2002, the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates (VDP) presented its new wine category in Berlin: great dry wines from the best classified vineyards. That year, 78 wineries showed wines from around 100 sites.

With the Grosses Gewächs, the association’s approximately 200 members rejected the bureaucracy of the 1971 German wine law, which still evaluates a wine’s quality exclusively according to grape sugar content at harvest.


Scroll down for tasting notes & scores for the German Grosses Gewächs 2022 releases


The VDP, however, believes that the origin counts as well, not just ripeness. ‘Only a vine growing in harmony with its vineyard can produce grapes for truly great, distinctive wines that tangibly reflect their soil and climate,’ says Steffen Christmann, president of the association.

The new vintage has been released every 1 September since then, with the whites usually from the previous year and the reds at least two years old.

This September saw a total of 629 new Grosse Gewächse from 327 classified sites. The white wines, predominantly from the 2021 vintage, were almost a throwback to cooler times: with pronounced acidity and ravishing freshness. The 2020 reds, coming from a very warm vintage, showed just the opposite, expressed as high concentration and density.


Caro Maurer MW’s top white and red picks from the Grosses Gewächs 2022 releases


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