2011 German Riesling Vintage -- Is It Good or Not?


I have been avoiding German Riesling from 2011 like the plague due to both many notes here on the board concurring that is a fat and flabby vintage with high sweetness and no acidity. I had my own example when the 2011 Hoffman-Simon Piesporter Spatlese failed to live up to the heights of the 2008.

Yet, I look at German Riesling vintage charts from experts like Jancis Robinson and Robert Parker and many others on this all-knowing all-seeing interworldwidewebnetty thingy and they all say uniformly the 2011 vintage is awesome!

Am I missing something here? After my own experience and reading all the notes here I have avoided the 11 vintage like the plague but I am wondering now if I should perhaps reconsider my position. Is it actually good or not? Should I reconsider? What do you all say?

Oh, keep in mind when you answer please that I now quite enjoy Grosse Gewachs trocken and dry Alsacian Riesling as well as the sweet stuff. :slight_smile:

Depends. When are you planning to drink the wines?

Dry wines are drinking quite well.

Sweeter wines need time.

Yep, patience, and buy carefully.

I think it’s been underrated by this board. While some are a little flabby, many are not. It gets good ratings due to the good yields and plethora of special selections like GKA, BA and the like (the vintage charts tend to favor riper years).

When I was at Grunhaus last fall, they said 2011 was their best of 2011, 2012, and 2013. And considering how good their 2011 Abtsberg Spatlese is, it’s hard to argue with that.

Any notes on Donnhoff in 2011? Or thoughts on the in 2012? thx

The lesson i took away from my trip to Germany this year (all MSR and Nahe estates) is that the great producers make good wine year in and year out. While you may not go as big in some years as others, I think - for the most part, avoiding entire vintages is a mistake/unnecessary. We tasted wines from many of the more challenging years and found them enjoyable.

this is the “German Celartracker” Liste der Verkostungsnotizen (Detailmodus)

YES, that´s true.

Thanks to climate change we have no bad vintage anymore in Germany since 2001. The vintage 2011 is clearly more on the fruit side comparable to 2009. Good wines, but I clearly prefer cool climate vintages like 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012/2013 with mineral and acidity-driven Rieslings. It´s a kind of personal taste.


You might say there have been no bad vintages since 1987 (the main UK importer just did…)

2000 was pretty questionable. Yes there were some really good wines, but overall the vintage has not been good.

For dry wines 2003 and 2006 are best to avoid IMO
in 2011 Shäfer Fröhlich and Schönleber made great GG´s

The Donnhoff GGs are fantastic in 2011 as well.

I wrote since 2001. It seems you need reading glasses. :slight_smile:

I had the chance to taste several GGs of the vintage 2003 in the last weeks&months and they developed better than I thought. 2003 is underestimated. Also in 2006 you will find good GGs from Nahe&Rheinhessen. Of course 2003&2006 are not as good as the cool-climate vintages mentioned before, but they are not bad vintages.


I think that with 2011, it depends on what you want to drink and from where. The vintage has good ripeness, but for me, is a bit deficient in acid. So, it is a pretty good vintage for drier wines as the acids are not so harsh. This can make for some flabbier traditionally made wines. But, if you want those, try going for higher acid sites. I just had a 2011 Zilliken Saarburger Kabinett that was delightful. I was taught to go to the Saar or Ruwer in lower acid vintages and that works pretty well. However, I have also had some Middle Mosel wines that are quite good, esp. Schloss Lieser and my sense is that the wines do not seem as flabby as when I first tasted them. So, I find this to be a somewhat mixed vintage. I would say that there are some very good 2011s, but taste before you buy in any quantity.

I tasted some Grunhaus 2011s and 2012s next to each other a year or two ago when Dr. von Schubert was at MacArthur beverages. I preferred the 2012s at the time, but all the wines were quite young and the 2011s were very good as well. Cannot go wrong with either vintage there.

What he said.

I need glasses all the time not just for reading. But I understood and didn’t contradict you!

I’ve had Keller Kirchspiel 2011 on two separate occasions in the last week, and both were disappointing. I am (aren’t we all?) a big Keller fan and I buy as much as I can afford, but in my opinion, this specific vintage lack vibrancy.


How do you rank dry Riesling from 2012? I have chance to get some Keller G-max from 2012. I would love to have your thoughts on this vintage.