The wine year 2011 was, as frequently during the recent years, very divers – partly scary, but still exceptional. There were high must weights, very good qualities and quantities, as well as spectacular autumn weather that enchanted every grower.
The year began with icy temperatures, January and February were long term average. The month of March till May were summery hot with hardly any rain, providing us with a picture-book flowering.
Fortunately the harsh frost-night from May 4th till 5th spared our vineyards, so that we could concentrate on plant protection.
The warm temperatures and the dry weather enhanced the growth of the grapes so much that the plants showed in early July an advance in vegetation of almost 4 weeks. July and August were then rather humid, which furthered the growth of the grapes.
On August 26th the Mosel region was hit by a hail-storm that will go down in history. Parts of our vineyards were also affected, so that we calculated with quite a loss. The humid and warm temperatures in August and September increased the risk of development of botrytis, which fortunately did not spread to much in our vineyards.
Luckily we were then blessed with dry weather, so that the grapes affected by the hailstorm could dry up causing us no further damage. Rather to the opposite… due to the crazy weather conditions the start of the Riesling harvest was very early, in the end of September.
At the Thanisch Erben Müller-Burggraef estate we started harvesting on September 26th with almost summer-like temperatures, which permitted us to pick selective and slow, providing our best vineyard blocks with the possibility to fully ripen and develop outstanding qualities.
Only during the last week of October we picked our best grapes, ripe and aromatic, perfect for Auslese, Spätlese and dry wines.
Dried berries were picked selectively supplying us with must for noble-sweet wines such as Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.
As the absolute highlight at the end of our harvest, on November 1st, we were able to select berries
for a Trckenbeerenauslese from our “Berncasteler Doctor” vineyard with 250° of Oechsle.
The musts develop fabulously in our cellars, with an elegant, moderate acidity and a great density and structure. We can now relax and look forward to an extraordinary vintage 2011.