It’s amazing how quickly things return to normal. After nearly eight nerve-wracking weeks of intense concentration during the hustle and bustle of the harvest, it’s back to business as usual. Somehow, it’s kind of a shame that the harvest is over. It’s definitely the greatest time of year, despite the stress that goes with it. As far as I’m concerned, though, things could stay that way all year round.
Everything is fermenting nicely; only our Trockenbeerenauslese is giving me a bit of a headache. But it’s not surprising, considering the lab analysis that shows this must started out with about 300 degrees Oechsle. That means fermentation is a little more difficult – but I’m certain we’ll manage. Such high must weights are really quite exceptional. Actually, at that level, it’s really not juice, but rather more the consistency of a marmalade that you’d spread on bread. Without a doubt, grandiose...but quite complicated.
This year, for the first time, we’ve put the musts from our top sites into wooden casks. Everything from Rüdesheim. The grapes were perfectly healthy, highly aromatic, and picked right at the end of the harvest. We simply put the musts into the barrels, without any special pre-clarification, and waited to see what would happen. To virtually let fermentation start spontaneously, knowing fully well that our cellar’s own yeast flora would trigger fermentation.
What can I say...it tastes wonderful. Truly exceptional and different. I’m anxious to see how these wines will continue to develop. I’m particularly excited about our Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). We only have a small quantity, but what we have is really something. “Vinification in the extreme”: macerated for six days: fermented while completely cloudy and without the addition of cultured yeast; then, off into new barriques. Intriguing, different, and extremely exciting. We’ll see what becomes of it...I think it’ll be something truly great!