A third straight sun-drenched vintage across Germany has allowed quality to shine through once again in 2020, hot on the heels of the much lauded 2018 and 2019 vintages. The year started at a quick pace, with generous rainfall in February and March reviving vineyards that had suffered in the two preceding drought filled years. An unusually quick blossom followed in the Spring setting the stage for an early harvest. Summertime was, once again, glorious and hot with a few spikes above 35 degrees – as has become the norm even in the once famously cool Mosel. This led to growers beginning to pick ripe fruit for dry and off-dry wines early, in the Nahe some even started as early as August! By doing this, the Trocken and Kabinett wines are elegant with a fruity appeal and a fragrance that has impressed in our tastings.
Stylistically, the Rieslings of 2020 have a wonderful freshness whilst carrying the ripeness and weight that we saw in the well-received heatwave year of 2018. Our friends at Weingut Dönnhoff described 2020 as having the “heat of 2018, but cleaner, easier wines that are fresh and crisp.” High praise indeed!
A few brave producers risked leaving grapes on the vine in the face of changing weather conditions into the Autumn, in the hope of producing premium Auslese and Eiswein. Their gamble was rewarded, as a reported minus 8 degrees in the Nahe on 30th November allowed for Eiswein production and the resulting wines are fabulously expressive and concentrated, albeit low in quantity.