I am beyond excited for the 2021s! I was there for two weeks in August during a crucial stretch. A number of growers mentioned the sun came out when we arrived and continued throughout our entire visit. I feel personally attached to it and it is my type of vintage.
Read Stephen’s incredibly detailed, informative and passionate report.
Your referring to the mentions of John in the article, I think that is Stephen giving John Ritchie credit for his input which I am sure is extremely valuable. I have been reading Stephen’s vintages reports and his German wine write-ups for close to 15 years and I don’t even need to ask him, that writing is Stephen’s style. BTW he has a book that is close to finished.
I hope you write something up after your trip. I will be there for 10 days in the beginning of July and will post my impressions.
Just as you inherently knew to be the case, Stephen did write it.
He said it is a running joke of his, to defer authorship of vintage reports, as he really dislikes having to write them.
I said that it reminds me of Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes…
Funny to read how much Stephen “loathes” vintage reports when he certainly has a knack for writing them. This is only the second or third I’ve read of his but I appreciate both the style of his writing as well as the general approach to his thinking. Nothing arrogantly declarative, always trying to turn over / find some meaning.
Here’s a short list of wines to look for – we know it can be a bit confusing.
Lauer’s “Barrel X,” “Senior” and No. 4; any Ludes wine that says “Kabinett;” Seehof’s estate feinherb and “Elektrisch;” Stein’s “Weihwasser” and Himmelreich Kabinett Feinherb; the Vineyard Project 005 Saar Riesling Feinherb (made by Peter Thelen at Petershof); Weiser-Künstler’s estate Feinherb (the one mentioned above, with the owl label) and their Steffensberg “im Löwenbaum” Spätlese Feinherb, though only five cases of this are coming to the U.S. so good luck there.
I’m happy to hear these in particular called out as they have been some of my bread-and-butter purchases over the last few years. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the Wei-Ku estate Feinherb as readily last year as in previous vintages for some reason. I’ll make sure to look out for it early and often. I think my oldest bottle left is from 2017; I mostly buy their mid-range bottlings in quantity at this point, but curious to see how something like the estate bottling performs over time. (Same with the Weihwasser and Barrel X, though I’ve stopped buying the latter besides when I’ve seen it in mag and have trouble not burning through the Weihwasser.)
I couldn’t resist. So I opened a Hofgut Falkenstein, Niedermenniger im Kleinschock, AP 20 Kabinett 2021.
Just to get a sense of it.
Just nothing ripe. The notes are not super important here. It is the mouthfeel, the balance between the crazy acidity and sugar, which the low pH almost covers any sense of right now. I like it a lot. The rest of my Kabinett’s are going to sleep for a few years now.
I’m glad you liked it. It’s my favorite vintage of Im Kleinschock. The 2021s are impressive. I especially like our Kabinetts at Hofgut Falkenstein—Gisela, Ternes, Kugel Peter, and Mia. We produced no less than a dozen Kabinett wines, including Kabinett trocken and feinherb. At home, I love to drink Kabinett trocken (e.g., Munny or Egon), but it’s not for everyone.
On the Saar, downy mildew (peronospora) was a problem for many producers, even if the Middle Mosel had it worse. The Webers only sprayed organic treatments and had no real issues, but some neighboring parcels in Bockstein, Euchariusberg, and Niedermenniger Herrenberg had severe pero. In addition, we had low yields and ripe grapes from short pruning (i.e., one instead of two canes per vine), not green harvesting to reduce yields. There’s a big difference.