It’s always remarkable to spend a week with this collection, from an estate that has quickly established its consequence and its singularity. It is, though, two stories this time; one is the literally incredible quality of the 2021 Rieslings (from the estate to the 1er Crus), which aren’t only the best they’ve ever been, but about as great as 2021 Riesling can be. The other story is the curious nature of the 2020 GGs.
Nothing has changed at the estate. No new personnel, no new protocols in the cellar. ’20 was of course the Covid vintage but I’m told the character of these wines has little to do with that, and everything to do with the unusual ripening cycle.
Don’t panic; the wines are good. They’re just good of a type we haven’t seen since vintage 2011. They have both higher alcohol and more overt wood than any of the vintages between 2012-2018, and either you welcome this or you don’t. The estate describes the vintage as “warm and dry, and rather intense.” I’m also assured that the ’21 GGs will return to the style I (happen to) like, to which I can only say – none too soon. Because that series of seven consecutive vintages established a deeper originality then anything contrived by “style,” and both expanded and elevated the possibilities of Riesling. I want them back.