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Alsace Vintage Chart

Alsace Vintage Charts & Ratings

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Alsace

Vintage Quality Drink Comments
2015 Drink/Cellar A perfect weather script for Alsace: a warm, dry spring and early summer was followed by a July heatwave, to the extent that the vines were suffering by early August.  Rain storms on August 9th and 10th were hugely helpful, and after that, the vines ripened perfectly for a leisurely harvest throughout September, VT and SGN included.  All varieties excelled, including Pinot Noir.  2015 is considered the greatest Alsace vintage since 1990 and 1971, though quantities were not large.
2014 Drink/Cellar A warm spring and early summer led to an exceptionally successful flowering and fruit set.  July, though, had double its average rainfall, creating disease pressures. August was cooler than usual, leading to Drosophila suzukii attacks on Alsace’s dark-skinned grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer).  Picking in mid- to late-September produced a smaller-than-hoped-for harvest of beautifully balanced wines which, like 2013, favoured dry styles over sweet.  Riesling and Pinot Gris were particularly successful.
2013 Drink/Cellar A cool, slow spring meant that flowering was delayed until the second half of June.  Mid-July to mid-August was warm and dry (though with hail in some sectors), meaning that early September rain was welcome.  The rest of September was dry and sunny prior to an early October harvest.  2013 is a fine, low-yielding year for dry wines, especially Riesling but also Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer: fresh, elegant and vital.  There are few VT and SGN wines.
2012 Drink/Cellar Spring frosts , extended flowering with isolated hail followed by very dry summer & water stress. Beneficial rains in September. Reduced harvest of mature grapes leading to structured wines with potentially long life. Some compare to 2010 or 2002.
2011 Drink/Cellar Early start. Cool, wet summer marked by frequent storms. Very sunny end of August. Normal volume after short 2010. Sorting key to quality. Lighter, often delicate wines of lower alcohol & moderate acidity, many with early appeal. Considerable variability.
2010 Drink/Cellar Challenged flowering, coulure & millerandage reduced crop. Low yields delivered concentrated wines with density & dimension: ripeness plus structure. A uniform success. Even regional Chablis will be worthy of mid-term bottle aging.
2009 Drink/Cellar Full, ripe wines with generous flavors rather than a textbook Chablis profile. Some forward & soft; drink early.
2008 Drink/Cellar Extended flowering, millerandage. Good summer, average sun hours & temperatures. Expressive, aromatic wines; a classic Chablis vintage combining substance & vivacity.
2007 Drink/Cellar Several hailstorms affecting Chichée and various 1ers crus. Uneven maturity. Disparate quality ranging from thin and green to fresh and delicate.
2006 Drink/Past peak Successful, well-balanced wines, sometimes heavy. Clearly defined tiers of quality according to rank.
2005 Drink/Cellar Ripe, generous, full wines, occasionally high in alcohol. Best grands crus suitable for long cellaring.
2004 Drink/Past peak Large crop. Best sites & those harvested later achieved adequate maturity. Many light, weak wines showing effects of high yields.
2003 Drink/Past peak Anormal year, highly precocious. Exceptionally hot, dry, sunny August. Some grapes “burnt” on the vine. Harvest commenced 25 August. Rich wines, high alcohols, low acidity. Compared to 1893.
2002 Drink Mature, healthy grapes delivered generous wines with ripe acidity. Best grands crus will have long life.
2001 Drink Unequal ripening favored best sites, old vines. Marked acidity. Particularly large quality gap between petit/ regional Chablis and grands crus.
2000 Drink Well- balanced, mature and fairly generous wines with sound acidity harvested in good weather.

 

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Methodology: This report has been compiled utilizing multiple authoritative sources including regional trade associations, experts in each region, wine producers, academic studies, leading journalists, and the editor’s personal notes.
Acknowledgements: E. Gabay MW (Provence); Hugel family (Alsace); D. Markham (Bordeaux); K. McAuliffe (Rhône); M. Stubbs MW (Languedoc-Roussillon).
Editor’s comment: This chart is intended to serve as a reliable guide for professionals, educators and collectors. Judgments as to the quality, longevity and current maturity of a given vintage are by definition simplified assessments describing the average profile of the year. There will always be individual wines which surpass, or fail to reach, the overall standard, or which may have a shorter or longer life than their peers. Last, these evaluations are not fixed and permanent; rather, they will be revised as needed to reflect the wines as they age in bottle.

 

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