Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

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Jayson Cohen
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#51 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 11th, 2019, 6:55 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 12:54 am
It's good to see that Mosel Fine Wines also liked the 2018s from A.J. Adam and Willi Schaefer.
And Falkenstein. Oops. That’s not Terry’s. 😜

Lars, how is 2019 shaping up in the MSR? From what I’m seeing most places on the Continent, it’s been cool (aside from the heat spike) and growth is relatively late by recent standards. Are growers already expecting a later harvest or too early to tell?

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#52 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 11th, 2019, 7:16 am

Jayson: In early April, about a week before budbreak, it was looking like another very early harvest. By mid-May, that was no longer the case because the weather cooled down, including a late spring frost in the Saar region, which slowed things down. A lot can happen, but the harvest won't be as early as last year. What we need is some rain, especially for the young vines.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#53 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 11th, 2019, 8:53 am

In Trier, we had light rain this morning. But now we just had a hailstorm.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#54 Post by J. Rock » July 11th, 2019, 9:02 am

Is 2015 considered a more acidic year for German Riesling? I've been loving how electrically acidic a lot of the 2015s I've tried have been.
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#55 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 12th, 2019, 4:22 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 6:55 am
Lars Carlberg wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 12:54 am
It's good to see that Mosel Fine Wines also liked the 2018s from A.J. Adam and Willi Schaefer.
And Falkenstein. Oops. That’s not Terry’s. 😜

Lars, how is 2019 shaping up in the MSR? From what I’m seeing most places on the Continent, it’s been cool (aside from the heat spike) and growth is relatively late by recent standards. Are growers already expecting a later harvest or too early to tell?
Fortunately, the hailstorm was only in Trier. I didn't hear of any reports of hail damage to vineyards on the Saar and Mosel.

As for the start of the 2019 harvest, it might be as early as last year. It depends on the weather over the next several weeks and the strategy of the grower.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#56 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 12th, 2019, 7:38 pm

J. Rock wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 9:02 am
Is 2015 considered a more acidic year for German Riesling? I've been loving how electrically acidic a lot of the 2015s I've tried have been.
Yes.
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#57 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 25th, 2019, 12:16 am

As a follow-up to my previous post, there was hail damage in the Trier-Olewig vineyards.

It's extremely hot here, with record-breaking temperatures across Germany.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#58 Post by J. Rock » July 25th, 2019, 1:05 am

So far, I'm finding that I like high acidity in my Rieslings, and I'd describe some of my favorites as electrifying. I've loved nearly all of the 15s I've had, especially Fritz Haag, Schloss Lieser, and Willi Schaefer.

I just had a 2018 Donnhoff Riesling Trocken and I (and my wife) thought the acidity was actually far too high. We found it searing, overpowering both the wine and food we tried to pair it with. I suspect that it just needs some time to calm down, but I'm not experienced enough yet to know for sure.

Speaking of which, can any of you kindly answer my question: even if a vintage is very acidic when it's released, isn't it true that eventually the acid in most Rieslings will mellow out?
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#59 Post by Ethan Abraham » July 25th, 2019, 4:06 am

I've you like Haag, Schaefer, lieser, etc (presumably the non dry as that's most/all of what they make) I don't find it surprising that you didn't like the donnhoff basic trocken. I like those producers as well and I generally find basic trockens too harsh as they have neither the body/extract or residual sugar to balance the acidity. OTOH the basic donnhoff Riesling (non trocken) is usually more to my liking.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#60 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 25th, 2019, 4:21 am

And just my opinion (after tasting German vintages on release for 20+ years), but I think it needs until October (so a year post harvest) for a vintage to sort itself out. I normally taste a large number of wines in June (including Dönnhoff), and find them to almost invariably be more approachable in October.

As for acid mellowing out, I don't really believe that, except when wines start to take on very mature elements. It's not because the acid changes, but more because the rest of elements balance the acids in a different way 20+ years into the life of a wine. Again - my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#61 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 25th, 2019, 5:14 am

For sure autumn is better than summer to appraise!

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#62 Post by J. Rock » July 25th, 2019, 11:19 am

I appreciate the advice!
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Robert Dentice
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#63 Post by Robert Dentice » July 25th, 2019, 2:11 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 4:21 am
And just my opinion (after tasting German vintages on release for 20+ years), but I think it needs until October (so a year post harvest) for a vintage to sort itself out. I normally taste a large number of wines in June (including Dönnhoff), and find them to almost invariably be more approachable in October.
I agree. I found the 18 Dönnhoffs at the recent Theise tasting to be extremely out of balance and not yet settled. There is no way the wines are as problematic as they tasted.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#64 Post by David Lewin » July 25th, 2019, 4:47 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 2:11 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 4:21 am
And just my opinion (after tasting German vintages on release for 20+ years), but I think it needs until October (so a year post harvest) for a vintage to sort itself out. I normally taste a large number of wines in June (including Dönnhoff), and find them to almost invariably be more approachable in October.
I agree. I found the 18 Dönnhoffs at the recent Theise tasting to be extremely out of balance and not yet settled. There is no way the wines are as problematic as they tasted.
Hard to believe one can go wrong with Donnhoff. I just bought a few Norheimer Kirschheck Spatlese from Envoyer, especially attractive at $28 per bottle.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#65 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 25th, 2019, 4:51 pm

I tasted the range in June. Some of the wines were hard/austere, but the Kirschheck Spatlese and Leistenberg Kabinett were both delicious.

Donnhoff was not the only producer with some wines that showed poorly at the June portfolio tasting in NYC. It was not a good day to taste at all, with oppressive humidity and low, low pressure and rain.
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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#66 Post by Charlie Carnes » July 27th, 2019, 1:01 pm

I loaded up on Willi Schaefer. Did some damage on Selbach O. Lars, thanks for reminding me to look for some AJ Adam.
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#67 Post by g.colangelo » July 28th, 2019, 1:48 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 12:16 am
As a follow-up to my previous post, there was hail damage in the Trier-Olewig vineyards.

It's extremely hot here, with record-breaking temperatures across Germany.
Hi Lars,

any damage made by the heat wave on the vineyards? How did the people cope with it?
I see that it is raining in the Mosel region right now and that temperatures have gone down significantly, which helps, I imagine...
G i l b e r t o

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#68 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 28th, 2019, 2:04 am

Charlie Carnes wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 1:01 pm
I loaded up on Willi Schaefer. Did some damage on Selbach O. Lars, thanks for reminding me to look for some AJ Adam.
You're welcome, Charlie. Mosel Fine Wines also had high praise for the 2018s from Willi Schaefer and A.J. Adam.

Weiser-Künstler and Julian Haart were two other producers from the Middle Mosel that rated highly.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#69 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 28th, 2019, 2:24 am

g.colangelo wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 1:48 am
Lars Carlberg wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 12:16 am
As a follow-up to my previous post, there was hail damage in the Trier-Olewig vineyards.

It's extremely hot here, with record-breaking temperatures across Germany.
Hi Lars,

any damage made by the heat wave on the vineyards? How did the people cope with it?
I see that it is raining in the Mosel region right now and that temperatures have gone down significantly, which helps, I imagine...
Thanks for asking, Gilberto. There were actually two heatwaves this summer. Fortunately, we had some rain a few weeks ago, but it's not nearly enough. Last year, we also had drought conditions. The young vines suffer the most. It's not just vines that are being damaged by the lack of water from climate change but also trees. This morning, it's just been drizzling so far. We need more rain than this. A lot of German Riesling producers like to remove the leaves to help combat fungi but have sunburned grapes now. Excessive leaf removal also can change the flavor of the later wine.
Last edited by Lars Carlberg on July 28th, 2019, 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#70 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 28th, 2019, 3:41 am

A quick follow-up to my previous post, we got some much-needed rain. It now stopped. I hope it rains some more but not too much at once. On Instagram, a grower with vines in Valwig posted a photo that shows significant damage to the young grape bunches from the recent heatwave. The damaged grapes were exposed to the sun but not from leaf removal. That's crazy.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#71 Post by Robert Dentice » July 28th, 2019, 4:51 am

neener neener
Lars Carlberg wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 3:41 am
A quick follow-up to my previous post, we got some much-needed rain. It now stopped. I hope it rains some more but not too much at once. On Instagram, a grower with vines in Valwig posted a photo that shows significant damage to the young grape bunches from the recent heatwave. The damaged grapes were exposed to the sun but not from leaf removal. That's crazy.

Phil Lardot posted a photo showing damage as well. Hoping for the best for all of you!


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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#72 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 28th, 2019, 4:55 am

Thanks for posting the photo.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#73 Post by Robert Dentice » July 28th, 2019, 4:57 am

Charlie Carnes wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 1:01 pm
I loaded up on Willi Schaefer. Did some damage on Selbach O. Lars, thanks for reminding me to look for some AJ Adam.
Adam was by far the best wines at the Theise tasting. They picked much earlier than others and they nailed it.

One thing many probably don't realize is that small estates like Andreas Adam and Juliaan Hart sacrificed a lot of fruit in 2018 (ie profit) to make the wines they want to make. Mosel Fine Wines reported Andreas had to caught off the grapes of one vineyard in August to save the vines...their neighbors called the cops because they thought someone was vandalizing the vineyard!

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#74 Post by Robert Dentice » July 28th, 2019, 4:58 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 4:55 am
Thanks for posting the photo.
I feel for all of you!! Such difficult decision to make all of the time...

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#75 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 28th, 2019, 7:51 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 4:57 am
Charlie Carnes wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 1:01 pm
I loaded up on Willi Schaefer. Did some damage on Selbach O. Lars, thanks for reminding me to look for some AJ Adam.
Adam was by far the best wines at the Theise tasting. They picked much earlier than others and they nailed it.

One thing many probably don't realize is that small estates like Andreas Adam and Juliaan Hart sacrificed a lot of fruit in 2018 (ie profit) to make the wines they want to make. Mosel Fine Wines reported Andreas had to caught off the grapes of one vineyard in August to save the vines...their neighbors called the cops because they thought someone was vandalizing the vineyard!
It should be noted that many producers had high yields but unripe grapes in mid-September. Others simply waited too long.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#76 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 28th, 2019, 8:11 am

J. Rock wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 1:05 am
Speaking of which, can any of you kindly answer my question: even if a vintage is very acidic when it's released, isn't it true that eventually the acid in most Rieslings will mellow out?
Yes, I wish I'd been taking notes when the chemistry of this was explained to me, but the layman's version is that sugar and acid molecules bond over time which reduces the percentage of both to the taste - but not necessarily in equal proportion, so the old chestnut upthread that "balance is everything" is wrong - sometimes age brings wine into balance and sometimes age throws wine out of balance.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#77 Post by David Glasser » July 28th, 2019, 10:17 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 8:11 am
J. Rock wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 1:05 am
Speaking of which, can any of you kindly answer my question: even if a vintage is very acidic when it's released, isn't it true that eventually the acid in most Rieslings will mellow out?
Yes, I wish I'd been taking notes when the chemistry of this was explained to me, but the layman's version is that sugar and acid molecules bond over time which reduces the percentage of both to the taste - but not necessarily in equal proportion, so the old chestnut upthread that "balance is everything" is wrong - sometimes age brings wine into balance and sometimes age throws wine out of balance.
This is consistent with my relatively limited experience. I've seen wines go in or out of balance over time, and not just with respect to acid and sugar. I've seen it with oak and alcohol as well. That said, the ones that start well balanced seem to have better odds of being well balanced 20+ years down the road.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#78 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 28th, 2019, 10:35 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 8:11 am
J. Rock wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 1:05 am
Speaking of which, can any of you kindly answer my question: even if a vintage is very acidic when it's released, isn't it true that eventually the acid in most Rieslings will mellow out?
Yes, I wish I'd been taking notes when the chemistry of this was explained to me, but the layman's version is that sugar and acid molecules bond over time which reduces the perception of both to the taste - but not necessarily in equal proportion, so the old chestnut upthread that "balance is everything" is wrong - sometimes age brings wine into balance and sometimes age throws wine out of balance.

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Re: Terry Theise’s 2018 Germany Vintage Report

#79 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 28th, 2019, 10:36 am

percentage = read "perception"

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