A few words on the 2013 vintage
Bud break occurred two weeks later than the long-term average after extensive rainfall in the winter months and a long cold period. A very wet and cold May delayed vine growth which led to blossoms forming only from 22 June. This late development did not get a chance to recover, even though temperatures during the summer months were above-average, which led to a relatively late initiation of ripening and a correspondingly later harvest. Traditionally, at von Buhl harvesting begins on 30 September, first with the Pinot noir grapes which we use to produce sparkling wines. October of 2013 made the vintage one of the most demanding wine vintages in recent memory. Roughly 100 liters of precipitation per square meter fell throughout the month which resulted in very short time periods in between for the grapes to dry and continue ripening. It was a bit like Russian roulette; either harvest the somewhat unripe grapes or wait for the weather to improve. We decided to go with the latter. All throughout the month of October over 40 grape harvesters were just about continuously busy with pruning to prevent rot, to provide the vine with more strength to ripen the grapes that were left to mature. The team also had to be able to respond immediately as soon as a vineyard reached the required maturity.
2013 is a vintage of the big vineyards. And in these vineyards, this vintage has turned out to be a very big vintage indeed. It doesn't matter what may have been speculated about the vintage, some very monumental Rieslings were produced from the best Deidesheimer and Forster vineyard sites. It has always been said in the real estate industry that there are only three major criteria: location, location, location. The same holds true for vintages such as 2013. And of course their careful handling.
What is to be expected from the 2013 vintage in terms of style? The previous ten years were significantly warmer overall than most vintages in the 90s. The 2013 vintage fits much better to the styles of the 90s than all other vintages since the turn of the millennium. The only year that comes close to 2013 – if they can be compared at all – is 1996. Its best wines still have a sensational constitution. There is also some similarity to 2010. And yet 2013 is, like every vintage, completely independent in and of itself. Cool, fresh, energetic and with a high level of elegance, this wine presents itself as such already in the current fermentation stage. Yes, acid levels are a bit higher and we will not alter that; we believe this is all part of the vintage's character. You will be able to look forward to an exciting wine that is spicy, and has class and finesse – we are too!
Werner Sebastian, Director of Vineyard Operations on the vintage: "2013 blessed me with a few more grey hairs. But it was worth it! A genuine highlight for me personally was the grapes for our Auslese of the Forster prime sites. These we were able to harvest during perfect weather conditions in the last days of October."
Mathieu Kauffmann, Technical Director and Winemaker: "I am experiencing 2013 as a very exciting and first vintage in the Palatinate for me. To our great luck, it was our deliberate low yield goal and our light, very healthy soil that saved us in this year of abundant rainfall. Only through our skillful vineyard work could we have harvested such ripe and healthy grapes. A vintage that resulted through diligence, meticulousness and hard work!"