I zipped through a bunch of wines at the Boston pre-arrival tasting recently. It was odd and somewhat distressing to taste that way, though I remembered how and it was much better than nothing if you allowed for its limitations. As it happened there weren’t many ‘22s to taste; in April when they were shipped most of them weren’t ready for bottling, and more and more growers are loath to send cask samples.
You’ll read a lot about the challenging vintage. I’ll offer a crude summary, by observing that it was a hot dry summer followed by untimely Fall rains, and no one claimed it was easy. Some of the early commentary is euphoric, maybe too much so, but then again great growers find ways to make lovely wines in all but the most catastrophic years.
What little I tasted made me think of the 2020s. Green herbal notes were more frequent than pitted-fruit ones, and I noticed some phenolics too. I imagine that plenty of lovely wines will be found if one is reasonably selective, but it doesn’t feel like one of those years when you could “buy anything” and know it’ll be yummy.
Two wines that stood out for me were both Pfälzers; the basic Liter Trocken Riesling from Darting, which was ridiculously good, and the “Vom Basalt” (aka Pechstein) Kabinett from Eugen Müller. The latter’s dry Ungeheuer was also excellent. The other superb wine was a ’21 – the “GG” Blume Riesling from the underrated Braunewell estate in Rheinhesen.