The first of October brought light showers followed by wet, foggy weather. A couple of days later we inspected our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vineyards and fortunately found no rot; we didn't bother to inspect the Riesling where rot isn't usually a problem. Riesling is a late ripener and by the time we got around to harvesting it, we were astounded by the amount of rot. Not just any old rot, but clean botrytis
without a trace of funk. We selectively harvested all the clusters with dehydrated, botrytised
raisins and destemmed them into bins to macerate with the small amount of juice available. After pressing, the elixir was cool-fermented and when the alcohol approached 10%, the fermentation slowed then finally stopped. The wine, albeit sweet, is delightfully piquant and its high acidity promises a long, delicious life. Double Gold Medal winner. Best of Show. 98 points.
The raisins in this photo were shriveled by botrytis, a rot that dominates in cool viticultural climates—in spite of the greyish mold, they taste delicious. The shriveling doubles the concentration of Riesling's apple-citrus flavors and the botrytis adds intense flavors that resemble apricot and honey. This cluster select is the wine you should squirrel away for your grandchildren as German
trockenbeerenauslese can live for a century or two.