2021 German Vintage Report - Whats old is new...(UPDATED FOR VOM BODEN TOUR HIGHLIGHTS)

The average is two-three cases for the entire U.S., I seem to recall you getting a bottle : )

Yes! Thanks to a generous soul!

I also randomly found a bottle of 2020. But it’s come to this: there is no way I would reveal publicly where I found it, which is not my normal m.o.

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Saw on vom Boden’s IG stories that there’s going to be a Prum auction kabi this year. Very excited. Also worried for my wallet

There will be a lot of Kabis in the auctions. I have given the Keller Schubertslay Alte Reben Auction Kabi a new name, it is now referred to as Second Mortgage. Wonder how that sounds in German?


I was entertaining the notion of bidding on Keller’s Schubertslay, but Robert’s declaration of ‘no limit’ shuts me out!
Who am I kidding?! I couldn’t afford a high-tier auction wine even without Robert as a competitor bidder!

But if I win we can still drink one together!

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The official Vom Boden tour began in the Rheingau on Sunday morning at J.B. Becker. For those that don’t know Hans-Joseph Becker has been making wine for over 50 years in the Rheingau, he is now 77 years old. He is what I like to describe as a winemaker’s winemaker. He became fascinated with dry wine early in his career and before taking over the family domain by discovering a fuder that had accidentally fermented dry during his wine studies. His first official vintage at his family domain was 1971, one of the greatest sweet wine vintages ever. He converted the domain to a high percentage of dry wines in 1971, years ago I asked him what happened when he did that, he said matter of factly we lost all of our customers!
Visiting and tasting with him is a true honor. Hans-Joseph pulls bottles from his substantial library that he thinks are drinking well. We talked at lengh about this history of the Rheingau, why it has fallen out of favor and the reasons or lack thereof why there does not seem to be many younger winemakers like we are seeing in many other regions. Honestly there were no good answers.

It was also fascinating to discuss the potential new German wine law changes that would eliminate Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese Trocken designations on labels. Obviously Ha-Jo hates this idea and I do as well. I really hope this nevers happens!

We tasted several older wines over lunch. Two Wallufer Walkenberg Spatlese Trocken one from 2011 and one from 2019 were both stunning. I personally like the shrill Kabinetts Trockens but I think the Spätlese Trockens are the part of the portfolio that shines for the non-riesling freaks.

We did coax Ha-Jo into letting us taste some 2021s from cask. First off he lost 50% of the 2021 vintage and it is the first time in more than 50 years the domain did not make a red wine. The 2021 wines he does have in the cellar are beautiful and I will be buying a bunch. They have the acidity, liveliness and precision of 2021. Just seeing the ancient cellar that does not look like it has changed in 50 years is always a highlight of my visits.

I cherish every chance I get to spend with elders in music and wine. The amount of knowledge and history should not be taken for granted! I hope I am as fit and spry at 77 as Ha-Jo!

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My friend Florian of Jus Naturae only managed to get a ticket for the party as well as the dinner was sold out by the time he heard of the event.

He told me he had a good time, but the mood after the dinner was already quite cheerful (presumably thanks to the top quality wine served during the dinner), so he didn’t get to present his own wine in detail to the people there.

Feel free to connect him with me if you like. I saw that he was at the party by his IG post but I did not get to meet him. I think we had 10-15 winemakers at the party and they all said why don’t we do this more. The energy was really fantastic. The Mosel is a truly exciting area at this moment.


I’m following your trip with great interest and enthusiasm Robert, as well as others who have and will contribute to their recounting of the German 2021 vintage, thank you very much!

While I know most people seem to be focusing on the Kabinetts, has anyone has any of the '21 GKAs (or higher Pradikat wines)? While it’s still early for the '21s in the States, the supply of GKAs and above seem very limited, so I’m thinking of picking up some of my favorites on pre-arrival, but I’ve heard very little about them.

I know Rob Panzer’s offer for Richter, which is already out, includes the 2021 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese *** Fass 38 (MFW 95+) and the 2021 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Fass 42 (MFW 97). Both are LGKA style and he says they taste great.


In a cooler year like '21, there is very very little GKA and above made.
It is the first year in a long long long time that JJ Prüm didn’t make any GKA…
Loersch made outstanding TBA/Eiswein and his Alte Reben Auslese is likely of Goldkapsule weight.
The Richter wines that Guillermo mentioned are outstanding.
If you are a fan of the style, and producers that you regularly enjoy made GKA, I wouldn’t hesitate to get some.

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Thanks guys! I’m excited to have made my first 2021 purchase (Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle GKA)!

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Just got to try my first 2021er riesling with a Keller limestone kabi, and if that is any indication as to wha the kabinetts are like, I’m even more excited than I was before.

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I can confirm that the wines from Hofgut Falkenstein were purchased on the gray market. Farm Wine Imports already knew about it.

Despite being highly allocated, Hofgut Falkenstein has added Kily Import and Quorum, importer-distributors in Seattle, Washington, and Boulder, Colorado, respectively.

Gray market is good. More importers are also good.

Every day is a great day to undermine the 3-tier system.

I don’t know if it’s good (i.e., the gray market), but it’s flattering.

As for the three-tier system, we prefer to work with regional distributors who are also importers.

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I like a deal as much as the next guy. And buy a lot of gray market wines more so because of availability. However after collecting wine for 20+ years and befriending many growers I recognize there is a downside to gray marketing wines.

I am not a big Terry Thiese fan but where would German wine be today without his tireless efforts to promote the overall category? Same could be said, albeit to a lesser degree, for Rudi Wiest. Where would German wine be today without Stephen Bitterolf (full disclosure he is a friend and my partner in source | material)? Retailers who gray market are just glomming on to the demand that have been created by others and cherry picking the best bottles and in some cases actually raising prices.

German wine is a tough, tough category where you need a passionate and informed sales force to sell wine.

I am not going to mention the distributors name but one small importer who has a few well known German brands could not even tell my retailer which specific wines they had and did not know what an AP number was???

As much I hate the three tier system, and I do, I would hate to see what would happen to German wine without the big three or four importers (e.g. Skurnik, The German Wine Collection, Vom Boden).

Mosel Wine Merchant played a small but crucial role in promoting German wine over a seven-year period.

Farm Wine Imports, like all our US importer-distributors, has never asked for a discount because of the tariffs.