Vintage report 2009
In general, 2009 can be viewed as a year of extremes, starting with a winter that was the coldest in ten years. In January, there were days and weeks of double-digit minus temperatures. Fortunately, the vines did not suffer frost damage. Because February and March were just as cold and winterly, we expected a late bud burst. Moody weather in April suddenly changed the picture. Summer-like temperatures and lots of sunshine led to explosive growth in the vineyards. Indeed, this April was the second warmest since 1884!!! Despite variable weather in May, temperatures remained higher than usual. Development continued ahead of schedule until June, which was a bit too cool, and growth was curbed somewhat. An exceptionally warm July led to another period of rapid growth – about two weeks ahead of schedule – that held until ripening began in mid-August. Must weights rose steadily, and despite the lack of precipitation in September, fantastic weather in October enabled us to harvest our crop under picture-perfect conditions.
In 2009, we adjusted our harvest management and strategy to take climate changes into consideration. We began harvesting at an ideal point in time. Painstaking selection, geared to our market needs, brought forth a cornucopia of totally healthy, aromatic and fully ripened grapes. We are both happy and proud that in 2009, we could once again harvest grapes of every level of ripeness to qualify for all Prädikats. We’re pleased with our fantastic house wines – great wines for everyday drinking; our village appellations, which clearly reflect their origin; and our Erste Gewächse (first growths) that justify their status as such. This exceptional vintage will be crowned by several brilliant Trockenbeerenauslese wines with must weights of up to 250 degrees Oechsle.
Of course it is too early to speak of a “vintage of the century.” But in any case, Weingut Balthasar Ress can already clearly say that vintage 2009 certainly numbers among the best of the past decade.