Can you rate the last few Alsatian vintages for us?

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George Tita
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Can you rate the last few Alsatian vintages for us?

#1 Post by George Tita » January 23rd, 2011, 3:05 pm

Also, if it's a great year across the river in Germany, does that also mean it's a great year in Alsace?
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Florian BECK-HARTWEG
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Location: Dambach La Ville, Alsace, France

Re: Can you rate the last few Alsatian vintages for us?

#2 Post by Florian BECK-HARTWEG » January 23rd, 2011, 10:22 pm

Very difficult question to answer, not as simple as in many other regions because there are so much different type of terroirs, type of wines (dry white, fruity white, dessert wines, red wines..) and grape varieties, that there is not a vintage which is good for everything or bad for everything.
So, for the last 5 years, we had the chance to have good to excellent vintages:
2005 was perfect for dessert wines (late harvest and Sélections de grains Nobles), very good for dry whites, very good for reds.
2006 was a very difficult year: the potential of the vintage was great, and then massive rain in the middle of the grape picking conduced to very fast rotting. Those who managed to pick before the rains produced great wines, particulary dry whites and dessert wines, after that very irregular. So in 2006 you can find the greatest wines and the worst: really a year where you should taste from one bottle before buying more.
2007 was great for desert wines, especially Gewurz. Very regular regarding the type of wines and also the producers. Very balanced wines.
2008 has more acidity, the best producers wines have a perfect balance thanks to this high but ripe acidity, but you can also find too acid wines. This acidity is perfect for desert wines. Great vintage for dry whites.
2009 is also a good year, but just the opposite style comparing to 2008: much rounder. Usually very fruity wines, and the best ones were the dry ones. Sometimes too round wines with too few acidity. Great year for reds.
2010 similar than 08, but less regular regarding producers. Wet august conduced to rotting in the too vigourous vineyards, and then perfect weather during grape picking: those who managed to go threw august with healthy grapes obtained as great wines as they obtained in 08, with the same great balance.

But vintage is not the first thing you should look at before buying wine in Alsace: grape variety, producer, type of terroir also have a big influence on the wine's quality, of course!

For the same type of wine, vintage is usually similar in the closest regions of germany: but some years, microclimate can have a very big influence, so don't generalize too much!

Florian
Domaine Florian Beck Hartweg

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