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Germany unveils extreme 2010 vintage

on 10/06/11 at 5:06 pm


Early glimpses of Germany’s 2010 vintage have revealed extreme wines to match the year’s extreme weather conditions.

An unusual combination of high must density and high acidity has produced very concentrated wines with great ageing potential; a sharp contrast with the soft, youthful appeal of 2009.

Speaking to the drinks business at a tasting of German 2010s held in London yesterday by Justerini & Brooks, Saar winemaker Hanno Zilliken characterised 2010 as having “the lowest yields in 30 years; the highest concentration ever.” His view was backed up by Wilhelm Haag of Fritz Haag, who remarked: “In 50 years I’ve never seen such a vintage.”

Haag suggested that some comparison could be drawn with the 1985 vintage, although he insisted “the quality of 2010 is better.”

Low temperatures during flowering, followed by a very cool, damp August and hail storms in some regions had a dramatic effect on 2010’s yields. The German Wine Insititute reported an average yield that was 25% lower than in 2009, although many of the top estates saw an even bigger shortfall of 40-60%.

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