November 12, 2016 | News | Wines | Vintages

Riesling Grape | 2015 Vintage

2015 Dry German Riesling | An Overview

The 2015 vintage proved consumer friendly with many gorgeous dry Riesling combining ripeness with zest. But, as in the Mosel, not all that shines is gold. Here the key facts.

We were able to attend the Wiesbaden tasting event at which many of the GGs, or Grosses Gewächs, wines made by the VDP members are presented. We complemented this with other tastings, at the Estates and trade shows. Given this opportunity, we decided to include a little piece on the 2015 vintage for dry German Riesling in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 32 (Oct 2016). Here are some excerpts from this article.

2015 Dry German Riesling | A Style Marked by Ripeness and Acidity

The scorching hot weather during the 2015 summer had a defining impact on the wines: Many 2015 dry Riesling have an underlying feeling of breadth and ripeness running through the wines. However, the acidity levels remained high throughout the harvest, giving the wines also a enticingly lively side.

Generally speaking, as a rough guide, 2015 can be seen as a zesty and more vibrant version of 2009 or a riper version of 2012, whichever way one wants to see it.

2015 Dry German Riesling | Great Successes by the Usual Suspects … and the Mosel !

Our tastings yielded some truly stunning wines with great finesse and elegance. However, there is no good beating around the bush: The 2015 vintage also confirmed the relative pecking order among German growers over the last few years.

Overall, as one would expect, the cooler Mosel did outstandingly well in the riper 2015 vintage. Many dry Mosel Riesling are among the finest dry German Riesling of the vintage and several Estates possibly not best known for their dry Riesling outdid themselves in this vintage.

2015 Dry German Riesling | Many Outstanding Wines but no Vintage of the Century

Besides these great successes, the 2015 vintage delivered many outstanding dry Riesling throughout Germany, which offer bright freshness, complex flavors and good presence.

However, the tendency by many growers to “make” their top dry Riesling from highly ripe, Auslese material and to “load” these wine with grip on the palate has generated too many wines on the powerful side of things. If this is your thing, you are in luck. But tasting or getting detailed tasting notes before buying is crucial to make sure the wines are your thing.

Is it a vintage of the century as many claimed earlier this year? At the top, the wines do not have the utter finesse and precision from truly great vintages for dry German Riesling such as 2008 or 2004. Simply put: It was slightly too hot in the summer for ultimate greatness.

However, 2015 is a hugely consumer friendly vintage with some true highlights and many outstanding wines offering much early appeal.

2015 Dry German Riesling | Detailed Tasting Notes

The Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 32 includes over 100 detailed tasting notes for outstanding dry Riesling from most leading German Estates including (beyond the Mosel):

  • A. Christmann
  • Diel
  • Dönnhoff
  • Emrich-Schönleber
  • Keller
  • Leitz
  • Rebholz
  • Schäfer-Fröhlich
  • Schloss Johannisberg
  • Robert Weil
  • von Winning
  • Wittmann

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