• Etienne Paumier

German wines, the Wind of Change

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

I still remember the inquisitive eye of my father-in-law while pouring him a glass of the wine we had chosen for the wedding. After briefly tasting and almost reluctantly enjoying the wine, he gave his verdict: “Damn, it’s really good.” My father-in-law is a peaceful and open-minded man yet it is not every day you hear an Alsatian born in 1943 praising a bottle of German Riesling. Although, I admit that the fact that the bottle in question was a 2007 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Kabinett certainly helped the conclusion. It was over a decade ago working for his importer in Hong Kong that I discovered his wines and when I first experienced them with their feathery balance and delicate aromatics, it was love at first taste. If Müller’s graceful wines still hold a special place in my heart, that sentiment quickly extended beyond the Mosel to the other regions of Germany. Consequently, when the VDP that regroups 196 of the leading estates in the country invited me in August 2019 to become one of their ambassadors, I felt both honored and thrilled.



A CENTENNIAL HISTORY

In his Souvenirs Culinaires (1985), August Escoffier narrates a dinner for Prince Galitzin in 1873 paired with the following wines: Steinberger Auslese 1859, Mouton Rothschild Mise du Château, Veuve Clicquot goût francais. The presence of Kloster Eberbach’s monopoly on a menu by the greatest French chef at the time, and in such company, reveals in which opinion the finest German wines were already regarded in the XIXth century and they fetched some of the highest prices in Europe’s greatest hotels and restaurants. The skills of German vintners were equally recognized and the Vice-President of the Wine Jury at the Exposition Universelle in Brussels in 1910 was none other than Dr Ludwig Bassermann-Jordan from the eponymous Palatinate winery, one of the founding members of the VDNV.


Kloster Eberbach 1959 Steinberger Spätlese Cabinet with the “Naturrein” mention on the label

Established in 1910 as the Verband deutscher Naturweinversteigerer or “association of the German natural wine auctioneers”, the VDNV _that later became the VDP_ has always promoted “Naturwein”. The term Naturwein[1] _not to be confused with the popular term ”natural wine”_ appeared in the XIXth century and was used by the founding members for estate-bottled unchaptalized wines. The original idea conveyed the sense of purity of wines whose balance only resulted from the vineyard site and vintage conditions without any adjustment by chaptalization. In fact, some of these wines used to carry a mention such as “naturrein” (unadulterated) to specify they had not been chaptalized such as the 1959 Steinberger Spätlese Cabinet[2]. The term also expressed the aim of producers to handcraft quality wines that epitomize the greatest German winemaking tradition. Such wines were sold at the time via local auction associations only, hence the name “auctioneers”.



ENDURING THE WARS

Acclaimed and highly demanded before 1914, German wines paid a high price to WWI. Not only did Alsace[3] & Lorraine came back to France after half a century being part of the Reich (1870-1918) but the French also occupied and administered parts of Germany including the major wine regions of the Mosel, Nahe, Palatinate and Rheingau until the mid-1920s. Higher duties applied to the wines from these regions rendered exports very difficult, especially in the economic context of the Weimar Republic with massive reparations to be paid, high inflation and a series of poor harvests. Besides, major markets collapsed for Germany with sales in the United Kingdom plummeting by 76% in 1920 compared to 1913, Russia having disappeared in the midst of the October Revolution and Prohibition starting in the United States. In his remarkable opus on the VDP’s history[4], Dr Daniel Deckers observes that despite all these obstacles and the 1929 crisis, VDNV producers managed to survive and re-ignite the interest for German wines both within the country and abroad throughout the 1930s.


Following the devastation of WWII, the German wine industry suffered as the rest of Europe with lack of labour and equipment but eventually endured and managed, yet again, to attract the attention of overseas buyers such as Frank Schoonmaker who published his German Wines in the United States in 1957. Merchants in the UK also restarted to distribute them, like Otto Wolfgang Loeb, a German Jew who had emigrated in 1937 and eventually published a laudatory opus about Mosel wines[5]. In the 1950s, the wine list of the Dorchester in London was still featuring a 1949 Schloss Johannisberg Spätlese at a similar price compared to the 1947 Chateau Haut-Brion and higher than the Chambertin or Musigny of the same vintage! (see below, Picture credit VDP ©)




THE 1971 WINE LAW

With the creation of the Common Market in Europe following the 1957 Treaty of Rome, German vintners began to fear the competition of cheaper wines from other countries and started pushing for more flexible rules allowing them to cut costs. Chaptalization and the addition of süssreserve[6] was not a taboo anymore and meant that even musts with a lower weight could be improved. Besides, the number of single vineyards (30,000) was considered a source of confusion and an obstacle for the commercial development of the industry on a larger scale. Decker brilliantly details in his book the numerous debates amongst growers on these matters that eventually led to the (in)famous 1971 Wine Law.


The purpose of the Fifth Law for Wine approved by the Federal Parliament on 14 July 1971 was to bring clarity in the German classification system by reducing the number of designated vineyard names to about 4,000 single vineyards and collective sites (potentially very large pieces of land encompassing lesser quality vineyards), setting up a clear classification between Qualitätswein (quality wines) and Prädikatswein (quality wines with a predicate or grade) based on must weight and the possible use of chaptalization (allowed for Qualitätswein but not for Prädikatswein). However, after a decade or so, the flaws in the making of the Wine Law became obvious with increased plantings of earlier-ripening crossings such as Müller-Thurgau[7] that could achieve high must weights even in flatland vineyards yet lacking the complexity of the greater varieties such as Riesling. Large quantities of simple wines often supported by the addition of süssreserve started to be made as well as basic examples of Spätlesen or Auslesen whose only merit was to achieve the required must weight. Besides, the use of vineyard designations making no distinction between collective sites (Grosslagen/Großlagen) such as Piesporter Michelsberg and high-quality single vineyards (Einzellagen) such as Piesporter Goldtröpfchen made it very complicated for consumers to quickly understand why a Qualitätswein from the former could cost half the price of the same appellation level from the latter. In 1995, Müller-Thurgau even briefly became the most planted varietal in Germany representing 22.2% of the vineyard area vs 21.9% for Riesling (Table 1)!


Despite the efforts of quality-conscious growers to remain true to their commitment, cheap, sweet and flaccid German wines started to flood the markets damaging durably the country’s image in the mind of many consumers around the world. The production grew from 4Mhl in 1980 to 10.1Mhl in 2000 and exports grew in volume from 440.000hl sold to the top 10 countries in 1990 to 2Mhl in total exports in 2000. However, since this growth was mainly fueled by entry-level wines such as Liebfraumilch[8], the value of these exports was low and the average price per hl in 2000 was only 138 euros corresponding to a wine value of merely 1 euro per 75cl bottle (source: Statistiches Bundesamt). At the same time, the devastating effect on the image of German wines of this phenomenon that reached at its peak in the 1980s up to 66% of German wine exports[9] (!), made it increasingly difficult for quality producers to sell their wines. Besides, the local market, eventually followed by exports in the 2000s, grew tired and started asking for drier wines. Paradoxically, what could have been devastating for a country renowned for its off-dry to sweet wines marked a turning point in German wine history towards higher quality and the foundation of a whole new classification system.



THE VDP INITITATIVE

In an attempt to remedy the undesirable effects of the 1971 Wine Law, the VDP started to build its own vineyard classification in 1984 with a multiple purpose: restore significance to the names of Germany’s finest vineyards, return the country’s outstanding dry wines to their previous status, resume the practice of correlating the Prädikat wines with their traditional taste profiles. This long-term endeavour yielded its first results in 2001 with the release of the first vintage of the Grosses Gewächs® (literally “great growth”, nicknamed GG), high-quality dry wines made from top-tier vineyards recognizable by a bottle embossed with a 1 over a bunch of grapes (since replaced by a “GG” logo). The vineyard classification was reviewed several times and in 2012, a 4-tier system inspired by the Burgundian classification was revealed:


VDP.GROSSE LAGE® (equivalent to Grand Cru, today 395 plots)

VDP.ERSTE LAGE® (equivalent to Premier Cru)

VDP.ORTSWEIN® (equivalent to Village wine)

VDP.GUTSWEIN® (equivalent to generic wine)


In order to use these terms, the estate must be a member of the VDP, the wine produced only from estate-owned vineyards within the yields defined by the association from maximum 75hl/ha for VDP.GUTSWEIN® to maximum 50hl/ha for VDP.GROSSE LAGE®. For each level, the wine produced can be either a dry wine (legally a Qualitätswein) with the mention “trocken” or an off-dry to sweet Prädikatswein labelled according to the official classification (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein). In an attempt to simplify the classification, the use of additional mention such as “trocken”, “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” is not allowed anymore in the VDP (so no more Auslese trocken for example) and each quality level from a single vineyard can produce only 1 cuvee (so there cannot be 2 GGs bottlings from the same producer in the same cru). The Prädikat classification of the VDP does not simply follow the legal requirements but defines the levels as follows:

  • Kabinett = no Botrytis

  • Spätlese = no or just a hint of Botrytis

  • Auslese = hint of Botrytis

  • Beerenauslese (BA) = Botrytis

  • Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) = Botrytis (raisins)

  • Eiswein = Naturally frozen grapes with as little Botrytis as possible


So, a VDP.GROSSE LAGE® vineyard can produce a dry wine that will be labelled GROSSES GEWÄCHS® or GG (with the name of the cru in capital letters) as well as an Auslese with the name of the cru as well. A VDP.ERSTE LAGE® could also produce any Prädikat level but a dry wine would be simply labelled as a Qualitätswein with a mention of the cru and its village (same as in Burgundy). The same rule applies to VDP.ORTSWEIN® and VDP.GUTSWEIN® where the names of the vineyards are replaced by the names of the village and region respectively. Are you still with me? Here is what it corresponds to in the range of producer Robert Weil in the village of Kiedrich (Rheingau) for his dry wines including the “premier cru” Turmberg and “grand cru” Gräfenberg:


VDP.GROSSE LAGE Qualitätswein KIEDRICH GRÄFENBERG Riesling Trocken GG

VDP.ERSTE LAGE Qualitätswein KIEDRICH TURMBERG Riesling Trocken

VDP.ORTSWEIN Qualitätswein KIEDRICHER Riesling Trocken

VDP.GUTSWEIN Qualitätswein RHEINGAU Riesling Trocken



All clear? I acknowledge that German vineyard names can sometimes be difficult to pronounce and remember but if you can get you head around the Burgundian classification and the fact that there are Perrières vineyards in nearly every village, there is no reason why you couldn’t master the VDP classification. Besides, in order to identify the bottles on shelves, the capsules of all VDP producers since vintage 2016 bear a mention of the classification level so if you want the registered grand cru vineyards, look for the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® mention. Besides, if you are looking for only dry wines from these vineyards, most Grosses Gewächs® usually come in a special GG-embossed bottle (there are exceptions as in Franken where an embossed version of the traditional bocksbeutel is yet to come but let’s not further complicate the matter, shall we?).



LAUNCH & RECEPTION OF THE GROSSES GEWÄCHS

2001 was the first vintage for Grosses Gewächs release and it was greatly received by consumers and critics alike shedding a new light on regions historically famous for the production of dry wines such as Rheinessen, Rheingau or the Palatinate (Pfalz) and elevating their top wines to a grand cru status. This new recognition, not only boosted the sales and prices of these newly iconic wines for the public but also pushed estates to release an increasing number of GG wines. From 2008 to 2015, the average price of Grosses Gewächs increased by 49% from 21.50 to 32.00 euros while the number of Grosses Gewächs released by VDP members grew by 44% from 415 to 599 for the same number of producers, 197 (source: Statistiches Bundesamt). This new category promptly caught a lot of attention and contributed to the underlying trend in the German market and industry for drier wines. In 1990, dry and off-dry wines represented 36% of the national production. By 2018, this mark had reached 70% of all wines made in Germany (source: Statistiches Bundesamt). Following the lead of Grosses Gewächs, the wines’ perception and value on international market increased and while the volume of exports decreased from 1.96Mhl in 2000 to 1Mhl in 2018, the overall value increased as the average price per hectolitre more than doubled up from 138 euros to 304 euros (source: Statistiches Bundesamt). To this date, the interest for dry wines and Rieslings in particular is still growing as evidenced by the proportion of dry Rieslings presented at the Mainzer Weinborse[10] increasing from 25% of the wines for the vintage 2015 to 38% for 2018, both years offering comparable conditions of productions for dry wines.


However, if Grosses Gewächs have raised considerable interest in their first decade on the market, they have also been the subject of numerous and sometimes heated discussions related to the vineyard classification itself as well as the promotion of GG wines. The first objection on the classification refers to the homonyms of the collective sites defined by the 1971 Wine Law, Grosslagen, and the grand cru vineyards identified by the VDP, Grosse Lagen. It doesn’t take much to confuse them and despite the fact the VDP has implemented specific branding on its capsules and labels, it is understandable that readers and consumers can be confused and maybe a better choice of words could have been made (I deliberately spare you here the numerous changes in nomenclature and names, such as the former use of “Erste Gewächse” in the Rheingau to draw a picture up to date as of 2019).


The other objection addressed to the classification relates to the number and location of VDP.GROSSE LAGE® and VDP.ERSTE LAGE®. It is a fact that not all regions are equally gifted with high quality vineyards. Some argue that certain Erste Lage plots produce superior wines compared to Grosse Lage vineyards and furthermore, that not all Grosse Lagen are equal in terms of quality potential. It is indubitable that there is truth in this statement and it is inherent to any classification to raise such questions. However, at the end of the day, I believe that the market will eventually sort these issues by balancing offer and demand via prices. Remaining in the comparison with Burgundy, it is a fact that some producers sell their Clos St Jacques more expensive than some of their grands crus and that a Richebourg is considered superior to a Corton and commands a higher price. So, is the VDP vineyard classification perfect? No, it is not. Is there room for improvement, such as using the names of single-vineyard village wines at Ortswein level? Probably. Yet I believe it represents a considerable effort and improvement towards quality by placing the vineyard at the core of the system that ought to be recognised.


Preview Tasting of the 2018 Grosses Gewachs in Wiesbaden, August 2019 (Picture credit AcesWines©)

DRY or SWEET?

Beyond the vineyard classification itself, the objections are mainly directed towards the concept of Grosses Gewächs and the importance it has taken in the promotional efforts of the VDP over the last 15 years. Here, the case focuses on Riesling which is the most iconic variety and represents the lion’s share of the VDP member vineyards (55% in total in 2017, source: Statistiches Bundesamt). GG wines represent the highest quality level for dry Riesling, right. But what is dry Riesling and is this style necessarily the finest expression of a vineyard? Defining dryness is not as it easy as it may seem at first, since the dryness that matters for tasters corresponds to the perception of sugar on the palate. That perception varies according to many factors beyond the level of residual sugar: alcohol, acidity, aromatic profile, use of oak, personal taste... Legally, Grosses Gewächs wines fall into the Qualitätswein category and as such, their maximum amount of residual sugar is limited to 9g/l. This may seem high for a dry wine to many readers. However, even if a wine with 9g/l may taste sweet, it doesn’t mean that it necessarily does (for the reasons mentioned above).


Balance is everything and it is precisely for that reason that some argue that the emphasis made by the VDP on Grosses Gewächs is excessive: Riesling’s greatness resides for a part in the astonishing diversity of styles it can produce and focusing the promotional effort for high-end vineyards on dry wines (regardless of how great they can be) doesn’t do justice the cultivar’s versatility. This is where the comparison with Burgundy ends. Regions such as the Nahe and the Mosel have built their fame on the finesse and elegance of wines with residual sugar resulting from their soils, climates and production methods. Thus, it would not make sense for a conscientious producer to have his viticultural and winemaking practices dictated by the need to fall into a specific category rather than the desire to produce the best possible wine given the grapes harvested (remember, here that we talk only about GG-level wines: for simpler wines produced in larger volumes, such adjustments may be rendered necessary or even imperative for wineries in order to sell their products, for examples in tenders).


From a personal standpoint, I have occasionally felt tasting Grosses Gewächs, especially in the Mosel, that despite undeniable qualities, some of the examples I encountered would have offered a better balance with an extra touch of sweetness. To be fair, making truly dry wines in Mosel is a fairly recent endeavour and if some VDP members such as Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt pioneered the style, GG wines have been a recent addition on most wineries’ price lists in the region. Does that mean that the Mosel or the Nahe cannot produce fine dry Rieslings? Certainly not and if you have doubts, I invite you to taste 2018 GGs such as Schloss Lieser Piesporter Goldtröpfchen or Schafer-Fröhlich Felseneck to see what I mean. Are GGs always finer wines than off-dry to medium-dry Prädikat wines from the same vineyards? Equally, no. In an article on Grosses Gewächs released in 2016, wine critic David Schildknecht was advocating for stylistic diversity[11] and I agree with him there. Germany has been graced with a cornucopia of great terroirs producing a compelling array of styles and it is precisely that diversity Riesling conveys that should be celebrated and marketed. Yet, unlike Schildknecht, I believe that GG wines and their promotion may, indirectly, help in achieving that goal.



LESS IS MORE

In 2015, the 100,000ha of vineyards in Germany produced 8.9Mhl of wines split in the 3 official categories as follows: Deutscher Wein/Landwein/Tafelwein 3.1%, Qualitätswein 64% and Prädikatswein 32.9%. The 2015 vintage produced 46.6% of musts legally qualifying for Prädikatswein but only 32.9% were actually bottled as such (Table 2). The difference comes from the increased proportion of white musts dedicated to the production of fine dry wines (both Riesling and new varieties) as well as the increased planting of other varieties achieving Prädikat levels of ripeness such as Spatbürgunder (+54.8%), Dornfelder (+331%), Grauburgunder (+131%) and Weißburgunder (+133%) in the 1995-2015 period (Table 1). It is worth noting that the quality of grape must weights in 2015 compared to the average values of the previous decades are similar. So German wines have indeed become drier and Prädikat wines are getting rarer even if average must weights are equivalent to 20 years ago[12].





The growing demand for GG and their increasing value has incited producers to put more efforts on dry wines even in regions where climatic conditions have historically yielded wines with levels of residual sugar above the threshold of 9g/l such as the Mosel or the Nahe. Nevertheless, it still remains each estate’s decision to produce a range of wines featuring, or not, a variety of styles from dry wines (GG or not) to sweet Prädikat. Making wine consists in a series of decisions starting from pruning choices to harvest methods and dates, fermentation vessels, temperatures and so on. Philosophically, a quality vintner will decide each year what wines he will craft based on the season’s crop with the aim of producing the best wine possible in every vineyard and every rendition (I say philosophically for practical or economical contingencies may affect this decision at times, but this is the motto by which many estates abide). Yet it does not mean that every quality level has to be made every year nor that it is desirable. The emergence of a classification such as the VDP’s does not mean that each estate has to produce all quality levels and “declassify” Grosse Lage or Erste Lage wines into Ortswein just for the sake of ticking the box. For all I know, no one argues that Domaine de la Romanée-Conti who bottles nearly exclusively Grands Crus under its own label should make village wines to legitimate the pyramidal structure of the appellation system in Burgundy. The same goes for Prädikat wines compared to Grosses Gewächs and some estate have already expressed that, since they believe that it is as Prädikat that their wines can fulfill their potential, they choose not to bottle GGs.


Maybe I’m overly optimistic but I don’t see this increased “rarity” of Prädikat wines as a sign that all growers will eventually abandoned expressions that have made the fame of entire regions simply for the sake of following the trend. When growers will make the decision of producing Kabinett or Spätlese, they will do so with the conviction that they will produce a fine wine with a sense of place and, hopefully this quality will speak for itself and meet its demand. If markets get tired of simple, vaguely fruity sweetened wines, I am convinced that it is not so much because they are sweet per se but because they are uninteresting. The objection that this shift in style may cut Germany off some of its historical markets misses its mark for me: wine lovers who praised the subtle balance of a Spätlese yesterday can still find these bottlings today and if they keep buying them, producers will keep aiming for such wines. A 1993 Rausch Spätlese from Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken tasted 3 weeks ago was showing brilliantly complex with a graceful poise while its 2018 sibling to be featured in the Trier auction this month, possessed the same ballerina elegance and subtlety. If the demand for the iconic sweet wines in German auctions _where most buyers are still German_ is higher than ever with record prices achieved in recent years[13], it was an Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Alte Reben Kabinett 2017 that made the headlines in September 2018 fetching 249.90 euros per bottle, the highest price ever achieved for the category!



STEP INTO THE FUTURE

Furthermore, the attention for Grosses Gewächs around the world and the new light it has brought on the country has aroused emerging markets’ curiosity for Germany in general. And when I am talking about emerging markets, I refer to countries new to German wines as well as segments of existing markets that had never been exposed or expressed much interest in these wines before. One day, I invited a French collector friend of mine to a fine dining Cantonese restaurant in Macau for a Mosel wine dinner. He is an authentic gastronome who had occasionally appreciated Prädikat wines before but the greatness of the Rieslings we had that night and the aptness of the pairings amazed him as much as it did for me and this evening remains to this day one of our finest meals ever. In the Hong Kong market that I have worked for 12 years, I have conducted numerous tastings with newcomers, collectors and professionals alike who would show great interest for GGs but also promptly tell the difference between a basic Liebfraumilch and good Kabinett and translate their appreciation of both styles into sales making Riesling one of the best-growing categories year-on-year. Out of the customers showing a new interest for Germany through purchases of dry wines, if only 1 out of 10 eventually discovers and starts buying Prädikat wines, it is still a new opportunity.


Over the last 25 years, the VDP members have invested considerably to build a vineyard classification, quality scale and define a set of principles for the production of Prädikat wines as well as a new category of dry wines. This system is not perfect, improvements in numerous areas can be made and the distribution of the VDP’s efforts of the development of GGs compared to Prädikat wines can be discussed. Besides, the VDP does not represent all growers in Germany and there are many non-VDP estates, sometimes holding large shares of Grosse Lage vineyards, that don’t follow these rules. Nevertheless, it remains in my opinion a considerable advance for the promotion of quality wines in Germany, conceived by a nation-wide private association that is now inspiring the country’s lawmakers to forge a modern Wine Law. Hopefully, this will result in a new legal framework that promotes origin and quality while clarifying the offer for consumer in order to regain the reputation and markets Germany had a century ago.


In another article published earlier this year on vineyard classification layers between the VDP and German law[14], Schildknecht quotes Reinhard Löwenstein from Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein and one of the 6 VDP Vice-Presidents: “A new wine law by fiat is unrealizable. And you have experienced yourself how difficult it is even for the professed avant-garde, namely the VDP, to orchestrate a sensible model as a private initiative. So, the question is, do we wait until all branches have been convinced; or do we take small steps in the right direction? I chose the latter path.” This approach makes sense to me and as we celebrate this year the 50th anniversary of the first Moon Landing, I hope that these small steps in the right direction will prove in due course to be a giant leap for German wine.




[1] The use of the mentions “naturwein” or “naturrein” was forbidden in the German wine terminology following the implementation of the 1971 Wine Law still in effect today. This is why the VDNV changed its name to VDPV and finally VDP in 1972, “predicate wine” replacing “natural wine”.


[2] The use of the word “Cabinet” in addition to Spätlese at the time was neither redundant nor wrongly spelled. Before the implementation of the 1971 Wine Law creating a new nomenclature for Prädikat wines including the word Kabinett (spelled with a “K”) for must achieving 67-82 Oechsle depending on the region, the term “Cabinet” (spelled with a “C”) referred to the best wines kept in the estate’s private cellar or “ cabinet”. In Kloster Erberbach, this tradition of “Cabinet” wines dates back to 1825.


[3] Until 1913, Alsace was the largest wine producing region in the Reich.


[4] The Sign of the Grape and Eagle - A History of German wines, Dr Daniel Deckers (2018)


[5] Moselle, Terence Prittie & Otto Wolfgang Loeb (1971)


[6] Literally meaning “sweet reserve”, süssreserve consists of unfermented or partially fermented must.


[7] A cross of Riesling x Madeleine Royale created by Swiss Dr Hermann Müller in 1920, Müller-Thurgau _also called Rivaner_ ripens earlier than Riesling making it suitable for plantings on flat lands where it can produce double the yields of slope-grown Riesling.


[8] The term meaning “the loved woman’s milk” became synonym of cheap, slightly sweet white wine.


[9] The Oxford Wine Companion 4th Edition, Jancis Robinson & Julia Harding (2015)


[10] Created in 1973 as the Rheinhessische Weinbörse and renamed in 1981, the Mainzer Weinbörse is an annual exhibition taking place in late April in Mainz where the VDP growers present their new vintage.


[11] What’s the Matter with Grosses Gewächs, David Schildknecht (August 29, 2016)


[12] The development of high quality Spatbürgunder (the German name of Pinot Noir) that has vastly contributed to this trend as well as the price increase on GGs but this would deserve a distinct article altogether. As previously mentioned, and for the sake of clarity, my case here focuses on Riesling.


[13] In 2015, Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Trockenbeerenauslese 2003 fetched 12,000 euros per 75cl bottle at the Trier auction. The following year, the Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Trockenbeerenauslese 2005 went for 10,000 euros


[14] g.U.s & EU-IOUs, David Schildknecht (March 13, 2019)

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