Alsace Vintage Chart

Alsace Vintage Charts & Ratings

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Vintage Quality

Drink

Comments
2012 Pending Late & extended flowering in humid weather provoking mildew, oidium. Hot August, cooler September slows ripening. Alternating sunshine & rain challenges picking. Crisp Riesling ripened slowly, often required multiple passes. Balanced Pinot Gris. Excellent ripe & structured Pinot Noir. Low production of good VT/SGN. Harvest near 2011 volume.
2011 Drink/Cellar top wines Uneven season: warm spring, early flowering, wet in early summer. Excellent conditions for harvest, very warm weather from mid-September on. Many whites are medium weight, fresh. Gewurztraminer riper, fuller. Little noble rot limits SGN, favors VT. Total volume rebounds from low 2010 levels.
2010 Drink/Cellar top wines Mixed spring weather, prolonged flowering, coulure & millerandage. Irregular ripening by variety & parcel. Low yields of concentrated, expressive wines with elevated acidity. Small quantities of very fine VT/SGN across varieties with marked botrytis. Best dry & late-harvest wines will benefit from long cellaring.
2009 Drink/Cellar top wines Early flowering, hot & dry August. Dry September with cool nights. Healthy, mature wines with higher alcohol, ripe acidity. Grands crus highly successful. Fine October weather, VT/SGN resulting from desiccation of berries (passerillage) rather than botrytis. Exceptional late-harvest Riesling.
2008 Drink/Cellar top wines Marked variation between early-, late-ripening locales. Damp, cool June extends flowering. Warm but not hot, stormy summer & wet early September. Slow maturation. Structured Riesling, Gewurztraminer from best sites will keep well. Successful VT/SGN wines.
2007 Drink/Cellar top wines Uneven, long season. Warm spring with wet & cold periods in summer. Notably slow ripening. Dry wines are elegant, tend to be totally dry in ’07 (no residual sugar). Gewurztraminer excelled: rich, highly aromatic.  Large number of exceptional VT/SGN.
2006 Drink/Cellar top wines Benign season ends with rain from 24 September into early October. Careful sorting required, some unevenness.  Very few VT/SGN except Gewurztraminer which was picked after rains.
2005 Drink/Cellar top wines Heat at flowering, many green harvest to limit yields. Best wines are ripe, balanced. Favorable conditions in October for noble rot, exceptional Gewurztraminer.
2004 Drink/Past peak Riesling in dry style performed best. High yields resulted in many weaker wines. Hardly any VT production.
2003 Drink/Past peak Earliest season since 1893. Record summer temperatures, water stress, hailstorms. Low yields averaged 67 hl/ha. Negligible noble rot, low output of VT, no SGN. Very ripe Pinots, Gewurztraminer. High alcohol & low acidity are common.
2002

Others past peak

Drink/Cellar top wines

Varying heat & humidity in summer. Uniform flowering, crop thinning controlled potential volume. Riesling stands out. Favorable end of October for VT/SGN Gewurztraminer. 
2001

Drink/Cellar top wines

Others past peak

Indian summer completes ripening. Riesling particularly successful.  Very fine year for late-harvest wines across varieties. Rules for ripeness of VT/SGN revised as of 2001 vintage increasing minimum sugar levels.
2000

Others past peak

Drink/Cellar top wines

Precocious season, ideal spring, hot & dry summer. Ripe, substantial wines with sound acidities. Widespread noble rot, memorable SGN in relatively large quantity (more than 1997, a voluminous year for late-harvest wines).

 

Quality Poor Poor-to-Fair Fair Fair-to-Good Good Good to Excellent Excellent Excellent to Exceptional Exceptional
Chart Legend

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); E. Hugel (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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