German Riesling 2004 Vintage Tasting Highlights

The 2004 vintage is more "typical" compared to 2003.

"...the 2004 vintage is more "typical" as compared with the torrid heat and record sugar levels achieved in 2003."

A group of approximately 30 German wine producers participated in this year's Wines of Germany "Riesling & Co 2005 World Tour," which featured stops in New York and San Francisco on September 13 and 15, respectively. At Thalassa Restaurant in New York, consumers packed the upstairs tasting venue for the evening session, paying a modest $25 entry fee for the opportunity to taste over 100 wines and meet some of their favorite producers, including Raimund Prüm of S.A. Prüm, Nik Weis of Weingut St. Urbans-Hof and Kathrin Hasselbach of Weingut Gunderloch.

The bulk of the wines being poured were from the 2004 vintage, which are just starting to trickle into the market. According to Barbara Müller Rundquist, proprietor of the historic Dr. H. Thanisch (Erben Müller-Burgraeff) estate in Bernkastel, the 2004 vintage is more "typical" as compared with the torrid heat and record sugar levels achieved in 2003.

Our preliminary tastings of the vintage bear this out; the wines are much lighter and less ripe than in 2003, but not, for the most part, underripe. The best examples display the delicate balance of fruit and acidity that marks top vintages, but without the same intense concentration. They are charming and well balanced, and can easily be consumed in their youth.
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