Our 90 wine-strong Retrospective of the 1997 vintage proved a resounding success. For lovers of lively mature Riesling, 1997 may well be THE perfect vintage.
Mosel Riesling blossoms as it matures. Every year, we dedicate the Spring Issue of Mosel Fine Wines to the beauty of mature Mosel. This includes the largest "20-Years-After" Riesling retrospectives made anywhere in the world. After the racy 1996 vintage last year, we took on the originally rather ripe 1997 vintage this year.
The year started off with quite some frosts and coulure issues in the Ruwer and the Saar, affecting yields and leading to some issues with diseases. A warm summer brought fortunately ripeness forward and dried out any diseases. A sunny and dry October gave the growers perfect harvest conditions with however few possibilities of making botrytis selections and Eiswein.
Early worries were voiced by some critics that the 1997 wines were too soft. These were quickly brushed aside as the exotic quality of the vintage struck a chord with Riesling lovers ... independently of aging abilities.
The retrospective tasting proved a resounding success. The 1997 wines are remarkably fresh and elegant. The sweet spot of the vintage proves to be … in all stylistic directions: Even the few noble-sweet wines produced prove now superb.
All parts of the Mosel delivered handsomely. Not only leading growers produced some superb beauties, also smaller growers outdid themselves: It is hard to go wrong in 1997.
To make a long story short: For lovers of fresh and lively Mosel, 1997 may be a perfect vintage. Anyone able to buy some well-stored bottles from this vintage should do so.
The complete 1997 Riesling Retrospective including our list of highlights and detailed tasting notes for each wine was published in Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 34 (Apr 2017).
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© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.