German & Burgundy Presale – Loosen Bros. USA Monthly Newsletter
The most recent vintages from Germany and Burgundy (2021 and 2020, respectively) have brought brilliance and surprise. Record-setting, high temperatures, and wet weather proved to be challenging in both Germany and Burgundy. Although far from perfect, we are pleased with the beautiful wines coming out of Germany and Burgundy.
Here from the trade? Be sure to submit your Burgundy presale orders by May 15, 2022, and your German presale orders by June 15, 2022, to ensure special pricing and availability of these very limited, highly sought-after wines.
Brilliant German Wines from a Long, Cool Growing Season
The 2021 vintage from Germany was a welcome break from the hot and dry trend of the previous three years. The winter was very cold which led into spring and delayed vine growth, but it caught up in the summer. Thanks to the long, cool ripening period, the fruit shows excellent depth and aromatic character. Meticulous vineyard work was imperative to maintain vine and grape health especially when heavy rains and warm, humid conditions in the summer caused severe disease pressure; specifically, downy mildew. Stable weather in September allowed the fruit to finish ripening in ideal conditions. This led to a “Golden October” which provided a beautiful setting for a more normal harvest period.
Harvest required rigorous selection to ensure high-quality fruit; a process that was tested because of the cool, wet weather throughout the year. The delayed ripening limited the production of Grosses Gewächs and the higher Prädikats (Spätlese and above). Well-draining soils fared better than others during the extraordinary wet summer. Classic Grosse Lage sites showed their historical strength with better ripening in this cool growing season.
The wines in the 2021 vintage generally have higher acidity that produced racy, elegant wines with expressive freshness. The cooler growing conditions resulted in moderate alcohol levels, aromatically dramatic, and complex dry wines. These wines are classically structured and brilliantly fruity Prädikat wines.
Harvest Reports by Producer
Regional Highlights from the German Wine Institute
Burgundy’s Surprising 2020 Vintage
Despite such a warm and dry growing season, the wines are surprisingly balanced and refreshing. This was the warmest vintage in the 21st Century, but it lacked the sustained heat spikes seen in previous years. Sunshine hours in 2021 were up 27% compared to the average, leading to beautiful flavor development without overripeness. It was the old vines with deeper root systems that fared best in the hot and dry growing conditions.
Many of the vines in Nicolas Potel’s vineyards are older and have these deep root systems. The other great advantage both the Domaine and the Négociant have is the use of gentle winemaking practices. This helps to avoid over-extraction of the small and thick-skinned berries that were very common in this vintage. Specifically, Bellene practices slow, gentle pressing, gravity movement, minimal punch-downs, and racking and bottling done according to the lunar and biodynamic calendar.
From the Press
“It was another hot year but the best producers rode out the drought and concentration of fruit to produce many superb, if less than typical wines. 2020 was the third year in a row of hot, dry weather, and may prove a template for the future era of global warming. The results are delicious, but they hardly conform to many wine lovers’ idea of what Burgundy is. The colour in the reds is often inky dark and the aromas are more black fruit than red. Still, unlike 2018, the differences between terroirs are apparent.” – Charles Curtis, MW Decanter (January 12, 2022)
“Classic Burgundy from an extreme season. Who would have thought the hot and dry summer, in which many completed the entire harvest in August, could possibly produce such a fresh and energetic style, although the vintage is more consistent for white than red. These are joyous wines. Wines you want to dive into and drink. At the top end, serious wines. Keepers. And best of all, in white and many a red, it’s Burgundy with a delightful translucency to terroir.” – Sarah Marsh, MW World of Fine Wine (January 12, 2022)
Please contact your Loosen Bros. USA Sales Director for questions and to place orders for the German & Burgundy Presale
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