Archive for May 22, 2013
2012 produced a solid, classic Riesling vintage as in 2011, but with less quantity over 2011 production levels and very little QmP wines over Auslese level produced as there was very little botrytis in 2012. The beginning of the 2012 growing season was cool and rainy. By May, some producers reported abnormal fruit set that led to mildew problems in the vineyard.
A hot August followed by a warm and dry September and October prevented mildew from spreading further and allowed for an optimal level of physiological ripeness to develop. However, the earlier cool, wet weather took its toll on yield levels.
Yields compared to 2011 were down in most regions and significantly so in the Mosel (22%), Ahr (-25%), Mittelrhein, Baden (-12%), Sachsen (-18%) and Saale-Unstrut (49%), according to the German Wine Institut. Yields were significantly up in three regions over 2011 yields in the Franken (+29%), Wϋrttemberg (+15%) and the Pfalz(+10) per the German Wine Institute statistics.
For many producers, harvest started in mid-October and continued on for a long 4 weeks. The special treatment and strict selection required throughout the growing season to keep the rot at bay, resulting lower yields, scant production of expensive noble sweet wines, and an especially long harvest for those who harvest by hand made 2012 an expensive vintage to produce.
The good news for German wine fans is that top producers were able to achieve very high levels of quality with a pleasing balance of acidity, a great dry wine vintage. Soft and fruity, 2012 is an easy going vintage wine lovers can smile about.
Below are some pictures from the Mainzer Weinbӧrse :