Tag Archive for wine

The 2016 Harvest in Austria at Bioweingut Weingut Diwald; Another Very Good Vintage

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“2016 had two faces: a terrible spring and a wonderful autumn,” according to top Austrian Bio wine producer Weingut Diwald.

During a hectic harvest Elixrr was able to get a few words from winemaker Martin Diwald about the 2016 harvest, which is looking like another delicious vintage for wine lovers…

E: How would you describe this harvest in your region from bud burst onwards?

Martin Diwald [MD]: 2016 started with a very wet winter which is in principle very good as you top up water supply for the summer months. Bud burst was time-wise normal and was good. In may there was a late frost in Austria which affected a lot of regions including Wagram. Nevertheless, in our villages the damages were not too bad. For myself let’s say about 5%. Blossom was also rather normal beginning to middle of June, but at this time it also started that we had a lot of rain. Much more than we are used to have. Therefore the protection of the vines against mildew and other diseases was extremely intense in 2016. Also the canopy management which is also part of the protection. We had to go in our vineyard twice or three times. Very early we took away leaves from the shady side to let the wind to the grapes, but also protect them from sunburn. Then new “secondary” shoots sprouted inside the canopy, which we took out again. At this time we also did a green harvest for some vineyards where yields where too big. Late August we took away leaves from the sunny side to get the grapes ripe. At this time the weather was also nice, which results actually in a very nice and healthy vintage. All in all you can see that it was an extremely intense season. Except the harvest which is rather easy it was probably one of the hardest season I had in the last 10 years.

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E: How would you compare this vintage to other recent vintages?

MD: It is hard to tell yet how wines will develop as we are still harvesting. I think that it will be overall a very good quality white and red. The whites have enough acidity and we are able to harvest late and everything at the time we want. This is very important for me to wait for cold nights, which we have since beginning of October. If you want to compare it with another vintage I would say that it is somewhere between 2012 and 2013. 2013 for me one of the best white wine vintages in the last then years, but 2013 had lower yields than 2016 and less rain. 2012 was rather warm and overall very ripe. For 2016, I expect a vintage which is very balanced in terms of ripeness/body and acidity. Probably a vintage a lot of people will like.

E: Which wines are you especially proud about?

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MD: I have a big love for Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. These are my babies where I always try to get the best wine possible with my own signature which seeks for elegance rather than massive wines. Acidity is a major part and that is why I am very fond of cold years and 2016 will be one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

E: How were yields?

MD: Overall good. Some better some not so good, but in overall I am satisfied.

E: Did you have to make any shifts in wine-making techniques due to weather conditions?

MD: Not really, but I am anyway somebody who does not have a recipe. So I always try things …

Thanks, Martin!  I can’t wait to try Weingut Diwald’s 2016 wines.

 

German Vintage 2010: The Best and the Worst, With Few In-between

Rebholz Vineyards, Pfalz

It was the best of vintages, it was the worst of vintages…or, so might many winemakers in Germany might say when considering the recently released 2010 vintage.   To say that 2010 was challenging would be an understatement to most when considering the challenging weather experienced by wine regions across Germany. To begin with, during the flowering period a cold snap hit vineyards.  The cold affected fruit set and ultimately reduced yields fairly significantly.  The weather continued to be unpredictable, cool and rainy, so that by August it was necessary to further reduce yields by selecting out grapes that had been infected with rot.  In various regions, hail further decimated crop levels. The cool weather continued into September, and contributed to the slow ripening of the grapes, which allowed the acidity to remain very high.

Just when all seemed lost, a very sunny October saved the day for the producers patient and brave enough to put off.  The grapes were able to ripen enough to reach physiological ripeness, while still maintaining the very high acidity levels carried over from the cool August and September months.   What resulted was an anomaly, a very unique vintage that most winemakers weren’t able to completely compare to prior vintages. In most “normal” vintages high acidity as seen in 2010 would correlate to a poor or unripe vintage, while the extraordinarily high ripeness levels would indicate a very good or even great vintage.  2010 provided an abundance of both acidity and sugar free extracts/ripe fruit concentration.

As a result, 2010 yielded some fabulously unique and outstanding wines.  Producers who followed strict selection processes in the vineyards and figured out how best to handle the über-high acidity levels were rewarded for their efforts; producing wines of incredible concentration that seemed sleek and filigreed on the palate.  For estates that made missteps in the cellar and/or vineyard, the end results were at best forgettable or at worst awkward and disjointed; dominated by harsh acidity.   What was universal, or nearly so, was the use of deacidification techniques, employed to some extent or other at most estates.

For the best producers of 2010, the vintage might potentially be considered very good to excellent, depending on how the top wines develop.  The vintage seemed to show particularly well in the Nahe and Mosel, where some producers have declared the vintage.  According to the German Wine Bureau, 2010 produced the lowest yield in 25 years, with yields off anywhere from 40-60% from the prior vintage. So, for the best of the vintage consumers will have to make their purchases sooner rather than later.  For producers who had an off year, the low yields will be viewed as an opportunity to put this vintage behind them sooner rather than later!  It is still too soon to say how ageable these wines will prove to be, especially considering that many of the wines were deacidified.  What is known, is that the cream of the vintage will be very exciting for those lucky enough to get their hands on some of the best juice.

Some Favorite Estates of the Vintage: Bernhard Huber, Seeger, Graf von Schönborn (both Franken and Rheingau), Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken, von Hövel, Clemens Busch, Fritz Haag, Reinhold Haart, Schäfer-Fröhlich, Friedrich Becker, Josef Leitz, Künstler, Josef Leitz, Gunderloch and Robert Weil.

Interviews with individual winemakers to follow!!

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] 1http://www.germanwineusa.com/news-events/vintage-reports/2010-vintage-report.html