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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
20 Jun 2008
 

German 2007 tasting notes - A-K

German 2007 tasting notes - L-Z

The 2007 German vintage has produced some really very attractive wines, even if not all producers managed to make the most of the potential, as explained in my overview in free for all.

Tasting in both Germany and London, Julia and I have managed to assemble tasting notes on about 450 wines, published in two articles as indicated below, arranged alphabetically by producer (sur)name, omitting such words as Weingut, Dr, Reichsgraf, St, Schloss, Staatlicher and von.

Some of these wines have been tasted three times. Others, especially some of the dry wines that are sold mainly in Germany, were tasted only once, in the crowded Mainzer Weinbörse wine fair.

Remember that wines called trocken, feinherb or Grosses Gewächs are dry. Fortunately, UK and US importers are starting to offer some of Germany's better dry wines as well as traditional fruity styles. Iris Ellman of The Wine Barn and David Motion of The Winery were two of the first to offer dry German wine in the UK but Howard Ripley now offers a selection of them too. J&B may even follow suit next year? It was certainly a pleasure to see just how well attended Howard Ripley's and J&B's German 2007 tasting in London were earlier this month.

2007 did not produce enormous quantities of Beerenauslesen or TBAs but there is a wide range of wine to choose from at lower ripeness levels. There are some delicious dry wines with really good extract, even some of the basis Estate Rieslings. Although the Grosses Gewächs top dry wines may not be shown until the end of August unfortunately, we can now choose from some of the wines made from grapes that didn't quite make the GG grade, described in my notes as GG second wines and often more approachable than the real thing.

Fortunately, German vintners seem to have grown out of their fascination with high alcohol levels - an inevitable fad perhaps as ripeness levels have risen as a result of climate change. Johannes Leitz told me that he is deliberately increasing yields slightly and reducing the photosynthetic leaf cover in order to ensure that alcohol levels are lower than they once were. "2007 was the first vintage we actually rounded up the alcohol percentages!"

There are many well made wines labelled Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese and I would say that generally wines in at least the first two categories are slightly drier than they used to be. Auslesen vary in the extent to which they are botrytis affected with only a minority showing a clearly noble rot effect.

But perhaps the most obviously distinctive wines are those in which natural yeast fermentations have been encouraged which tend to have a sort of funky earthiness at this early stage but often have more depth and individuality of flavour. The dullest German wines may be very clean and aromatic but not much intensity.

I have made a list of those producers which seem to have particularly shone in the 2007 vintage, also flagged up below.

German 2007s - recommended producers

German 2007 tasting notes - A-K

German 2007 tasting notes - L-Z