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Saar & Ruwer: Beauties Despite a Bumpy 2016

featured, Germany, Germany: Ruwer, Germany: Saar

David Schildknecht, Mar 2018

The Saar and Ruwer yielded a wealth of wines with improbable balance and finesse considering the meteorological extremes that characterized the 2016 growing season.

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Mosel Riesling 2016 Part 2: Longuich to Graach

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Jan 2018

I discussed the travails and eventual triumph of vintage 2016 on the Mosel in my introduction to part one of this coverage, as well as some of the mysteries that still surround it and the personalities and aging potential of the resulting wines. Estates that were most seriously afflicted by downy mildew (and a few that were strafed by hail, such as in Graach) suffered significant crop losses, but nearly every grower I visited expressed delight with his or her 2016 quality, and quite a few turned in collections to challenge those of 2015.

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Mosel Riesling 2016 Part 1: From Extremes, Equilibrium

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Jan 2018

Weather that was extreme even by recent standards paradoxically generated some of the most even-tempered, charming Mosel Rieslings in years.

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Homes Away from Home

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Dec 2017

Will Klaus Peter Keller’s and Julian Haart’s startling announcements set a trend?

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Rheinhessen and Nahe 2015: Cool Concentration from a “Warm Vintage”

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Nov 2017

Given the potential afforded by a cool, clear autumn following on the heels of a hot, dry summer, in conjunction with the exceptional abilities of so many growers, the top 2015s from Nahe and Rheinhessen offer plenty of excitement.

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Vintage Report – 2016 in Germany and Austria

featured, Austria, Germany

David Schildknecht, Sep 2017

The weather extremes experienced in so many recent vintages have been accompanied increasingly by years featuring remarkably similar meteorological and growing patterns that stretch from the Mosel to parts of Austria nearly 400 flight miles distant. In the end, ironically, the drama that preceded it led to a 2016 Riesling harvest as stress-free as many Austrian and German growers could recall, and to grapes whose very gradual ripening and modest eventual must weights would have seemed more familiar to growers of the mid-20th century.

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Vintage Preview – 2017 in Austria and Germany

featured, Austria, Germany

David Schildknecht, Sep 2017

It seems as though the climatic changes that help explain so many 21st century Riesling growing seasons of unprecedented extremes in weather are having this additional effect: For the third year in a row, in 2017 one can characterize the growing season for Riesling in Bernkastel on the Mosel in very similar terms to that in Krems on the Danube, exactly 400 crow-flying miles distant.

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2015 Rheingau and Mittelrhein Riesling

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Sep 2017

There is less talent and ambition in the Rheingau and adjacent Mittelrhein than these regions deserve, but 2015 offered an outstanding opportunity for demanding growers to excel.

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2015 Rhine Riesling: No Pfalz Modesty

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Aug 2017

Growers in Germany’s Pfalz picked most of their 2015 Riesling by the end of September, but the results by no means lack ripeness or aromatic finesse. The fact that many a Pfalz collection is not notably superior to its much later-harvested 2014 counterpart should by no means be taken as a sign of weakness. Without question, the aggregate rate of Riesling success in 2014 and 2015 is highest in the Pfalz and Nahe.

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Rieslingfeier – The 2017 Seminars

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Jul 2017

Rieslingfeier is quite literally “a celebration of Riesling.” But the seminars held as part of this year’s event offered tasting and discussion that were thought-provoking – sometimes to the point of head-scratching – and seriously concerned with the future of Riesling on German and Austrian slopes as well as in the North American marketplace.