2014

A mild winter and an extremely sunny spring resulted in an early bud burst. Likewise, the vines also flowered early – and quickly – amid high temperatures. The warm, dry weather continued until the beginning of July. Up to this point, the vines were around three (!) weeks ahead of their normal cycle. Then came the rain that we had been longing for.
August was quite a cool month, consequently reducing the vines' head start to around eight days. This was very welcome from our point of view, as the harvest could now hopefully take place while the cooler season set in.
On 20 September, the vines were still in fine fettle. However, the next day was warm and rainy, and the condition of the fruit subsequently became a lot less stable. We had to commence pre-harvest without further ado. It goes without saying that we picked by hand, painstakingly weeding out the grapes that did not meet our exacting standards. Werner Schönleber was a constant presence in the vineyard, coordinating, motivating and supervising our team of harvesters. Only perfect fruit made it to the cellar.
Although the extremely high expectations we had in September were dampened somewhat, we are still more than happy with the results of what we brought in. The fermenting wines all show good cleanness, ripeness and harmony.


Best of the vintage:

AUF DER LEY Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Wein-Plus: 96 Punkte)

HALENBERG Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Wein.Pur: 95 Punkte)

HALENBERG Riesling Auslese
(The Fine Wine Review: 96+ Punkte)

2013

A rainy May and cool temperatures in June resulted in a very late and irregular flowering that lasted until the beginning of July. However, a very sunny mid-summer period helped the vines to make up half of the almost two-week delay in the growing season.
Due to warm, damp weather in mid-October, some of our otherwise very healthy Riesling grapes started splitting. We quickly began picking and, in doing so, ensured that most of the grapes for our dry wines were still free of botrytis. On the other hand, we let the concentrating effect of noble rot take hold before picking the grapes to produce wonderful noble-sweet Auslese.
The harvest was very small – the smallest since 1997. However, we are extremely satisfied with the quality of wines that show a level of finesse reminiscent of 2004 and 2008.


Best of the vintage:

HALENBERG Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Robert Parker: 94 Punkte)

FRÜHLINGSPLÄTZCHEN Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Jancis Robinson: 18 Punkte)

"Auf der Lay" Riesling (A.de.L)
(Wein-Plus: 94 Punkte)

2012

After a rather warm spring, a cool and rainy June meant that flowering was a little slow to get going. This made for quite an irregular fruit set in places. We also had some difficulties with Peronsopora (downy mildew). Both issues had a detrimental effect on our yields. Luckily, the June rains infiltrated deep into the soil, and the vines benefited from this to an extent until September. This was a key factor, because the summer of 2012 here on the Nahe was one of the sunniest since records began – with moderate temperatures and scarce rainfall.
Owing to the dry conditions, our grapes remained absolutely healthy right through to mid-October – a perfect prerequisite for producing premium dry wines and fruity sweet Spätlesen. Noble-sweet, botrytis-influenced wines were a rarity in 2012. However, we managed to harvest a fabulous Eiswein in mid-December.
This is a very fine, elegant vintage – showing much the same balance and approachability as 2011, but with a very obvious minerality that bears comparison with 2008.

Best of the vintage:

"Auf der Lay" Riesling (A.de.L)
(Wein-Plus: 93 Punkte)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Falstaff: 95 Punkte)

Halenberg Riesling Eiswein
(Gault Millau: 94 Punkte)

2011

After another very early bud burst, our vines suffered significant frost damage on 4 May in some parts at the foot of our vineyards. This deprived us of some 10% of our total production at the end of the year. Quite gratifyingly, as in the case of the previous vintage, the grape clusters were again very loosely bunched thanks to warm and very dry weather during the flowering period.
Warm temperatures continued until mid-June, by which time the vines were three weeks ahead of their normal cycle. Luckily, the cool period that followed slowed down the vegetation to a certain extent. Our grapes then grew further in size following the at times heavy rain that fell from mid-August and the beginning of September. Their skins also became thinner and susceptible to botrytis as a result.
Due to the extremely early onset of ripening, the harvest began as early as the end of September. From then onwards, the weather was dry and sunny, meaning that those grapes with botrytis were able to dry out quickly. This allowed us to produce some wonderful sweet wines right through to Trockenbeerenauslese. Mother Nature was especially kind on our top dry wines, rewarding us with perfectly ripened, golden-yellow grapes.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Beerenauslese
(Robert Parker: 95 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Gault Millau: 95 points)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Spätlese "Rutsch"
(Wein-Plus: 93 points)

2010

The humid and cool weather during the flowering period in June was the main reason why the yields turned out to be small in 2010. On the other hand, it resulted a in very loose grape structure - which is an important prerequisite for a rainy late summer. Because of this structure, the grapes remained healthy for a long time. The berries remained small and aromatic. Even the rain could not change that. Good for the quality!
It was only at the end of September - when the grapes had already reached high ripeness - that the combination of warm temperature and frequent rain brought about botrytis setting pretty quickly, as some of the berries burst open. Therefore the rotten grapes were completely removed in the pre-selection. The remaining grapes stayed then much longer healthy, as we had marvellous dry weather throughout the harvest. The juice in the berries was concentrated quickly so that we could take time - the harvest was finished only at the beginning of November. It led to excellent qualities, but also to very low yields. The yields were lower than usual by around 30%.
The 2010 vintage shows distinct solid fruit that lingers in the mouth. Pleasant sustainable minerality gives tension to the wines. In addition, the natural reduction of yield resulted in high dry-extract content.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Eiswein -Goldkapsel-
(Gault Millau: 98 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Robert Parker: 95 points)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Auslese
(Robert Parker: 95 points)

2009

Also in 2009, the warm April caused quite early sprouting and the vines grew very well. In June the rainy and cool weather led to a little fruit setting resulting in very loose berry structure of the grapes. Despite the warm and humid summer, the risk of early rottenness was therefore small, measures to reduce yields were seldom necessary.
The main harvest started on October 12th and delivered us fantastic healthy grapes. Even in the basic quality the fruit was highly ripe, and thanks to the dry weather, we could once again select a Trockenbeerenauslese. The acidity values stayed within the optimum range throughout the harvest which was completed on October 26th. All in all, a perfect wine vintage!
The wines present themselves very fruity and well balanced, similar to the vintage 2007, offering probably a touch more finesse though.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
(Robert Parker u. Gault Millau: 98 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs"
(Eichelmann: 96 points)

"Auf der Lay" Riesling
(Wein-Plus: 97+ points)

2008

The vegetation in 2008 was strongly supported by the unusually sunny May with the consequence that the flowering was already over at the middle of equally pleasant June. Followed by a typically German summer which is perfect for the vines. Throughout warm, with a few extremely hot days and wonderful rural rain from time to time - absolutely comfortable conditions for the vines that kept on growing. However, the ripening process went on unusually slowly.
Due to quite cool months of September and October, the acidity that is typical for Riesling was maintained well, which made it our duty to harvest at a late stage. In fact, the harvesting of Riesling started properly as late as October 17th. The grapes had wonderful aroma and were mostly very healthy. Even the Eiswein grapes, which were left on the vines until December 30th, had seldom signs of botrytis (noble rot). Noble sweet Auslese wines were therefore rare
The young 2008 wines are very clearly structured. They show distinct minerality, fine fruit and wonderful elegance. At the same time, they are a little bit more moderate in terms of alcohol content, which offers even more fun drinking them. The similarities to the vintage 2002 can not be denied. The weather conditions were comparable and also the young wines showed similar characteristics to that of the present vintage. They have been developing wonderfully so far.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Eiswein -Goldkapsel-
(Gault Millau: 97 points, best sweet Weißwein)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Spätlese
(Robert Parker: 95 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs“
(Robert Parker: 94 points)

2007

The weather in April 2007 was something most of us could have gotten used to quickly. We had never been running around so often barefoot wearing shorts in the garden and enjoying the sun in the vineyards every day at this time of the year! The sprouting of the vines didn't take time either and the accordingly early flowering brought about a development three weeks ahead of the many years' average. In the end, we were indeed happy that the summer wasn't so hot as in the previous years. It would have possibly meant that we had to harvest Riesling grapes in September.
Instead, we were glad to watch the enormous lead in development gradually fade away. It means a clearly longer vegetative period, which, after all, the northern wine-growing areas are known for. It has the effect that the grapes mature very slowly and have plenty of time to develop huge aroma. The kind of aromas that you will never find in the Riesling wines of the New World! Furthermore, the typical acidity of Riesling is conserved much better.
On the 10th of October, the Riesling harvest began. The harvest provided us with very healthy golden yellow grapes. We were in no hurry and could wait for all the grapes to reach the desired degree of ripeness, and at the end of the harvest we were able even to pick grapes for Eiswein on the 21st of December.
The elegant wines of the vintage 2007 show a very delicate fruitiness and thrilling minerality.

The best wines:

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Beerenauslese
(Wine Spectator: 96 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs“
(Robert Parker: 95 points)

Halenberg Riesling -R-
(Gault Millau: 92 points, best semidry Riesling)

2006

We seldom had a summer so hot and dry as in 2006. The development in the vineyard proceeded at terrific speed, and it was when we started to become a little concerned about the vines since it had become too dry for us that August came. The coldest and most rainy August for a long time. It is crazy - yet what a great luck for us! We did't have to worry about watering, while the maturing process of the vines was still ahead of time. Then, September was again much warmer and drier in our region ending with a couple of warm rainy days, which lingered till the 3rd of October. Fortunately, the amount of rainfall was moderate in Monzingen.
The rotten grapes of no use for vinification were removed neatly by our perfectly trained harvest helpers, whereas the grapes with faultless noble rot are now made into magnificent noble sweet wines. Time was pressing, as the state of full ripeness was reached so fast. Besides, the quickly spreading botrytis (noble rot) resulted in daily increasing must weight and even more rapidly in significant loss of quantity. Our harvest crew, motivated by the fantastic weather, did not let us down. They all kept on working till dusk and did not mind picking grapes even during the weekend. In a good two weeks, the work was done, which normally takes us four weeks. The harvest was completed on the 20th of October.
We are not exaggerating at all, when we call the quality of the vintage excellent. The vintage 2006 combines in a sense the fullness of 2005 vintage with the delicacy and passion of 2004, while the minerality has found a especially beautiful expression.

Best of the vintage:

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Beerenauslese -Goldkapsel-
(Robert Parker: 98 points)

Halenberg Riesling Beerenauslese
(Wine Spectator: 96 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs“
(Der Feinschmecker: German Rieslingpreis)

2005

Following the dry but otherwise quite normal summer, we had a good level of development of the vines at the beginning of August 2005. Then, mid August, an exceptionally dry and warm, sunny period began. At the time when Switzerland was nearly flooded, it was absolute dry here. We were desperately waiting for rain. Finally on the 10th of September, there was rainfall of 10 litres per square metre. After that, it remained dry again, before we had another rainfall of around 25 litres early October. It was followed by perfect weather for harvest.
The very dry summer had the following effects: Mid September, the sugar production in the grape slowed down. At the same time, due to the sunny warm and dry weather, clearly visible shrinking/concentration of parts of grapes began, which went over to very nice noble rot at the beginning of October, as the weather stayed dry. The genuine aromatic ripeness was observed in Riesling grapes from the middle of October on, so we picked the grapes quickly in the following time. The ripening process is pretty much similar to that of the 1976 vintage.
Looking back today, we are glad that the sugar production went on relatively slow, because it prevented wines from becoming far too alcoholic. The natural concentration alone brought about high and highest must weights, causing however less quantity to be harvested due to water evaporation. The acidity values were within the optimum level.
The 2005 vintage unites strength and elegance in the most wonderful way. Also the acidity of the wines is truly harmonious. Clearly present everywhere, but never importunate. Thus it has the best qualifications for a really great vintage. As far as the noble sweet wines are concerned, we have never had such a good year!

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese -Goldkapsel-
(Gault Millau: 99 points)

Halenberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
(Wine Spectator: 97 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs“
(Gault Millau: 92 points)

2004

At the end of August, we had a quite usual level of development. We could barely expect a "great" vintage in quality at this point. Then, three weeks of continuous sunshine out of the blue sky in September pushed ahead the development tremendously. The first week of October brought some more wonderful late summer days with temperatures up to 27°C And suddenly, we had the best chances again with grapes being healthy and showing only occasionally signs of noble rot.
The Riesling harvest began in beautiful dry weather on the 20th of October with some hesitation. The weather was so seducingly nice that we wanted to make the best use of every ray of sunshine. Yet, nothing lasts for ever. At the end of October, we had several humid and warm, foggy days, so that we quickly completed the harvest. The must weights were exceptionally high (86° Oe and upwards) with quite normal acidity values. On the morning of December the 21st, we pressed a small amount of highly concentrated Eiswein. What a wonderful Christmas present!The ripening period in 2004 was very long, resulting in the grapes with strong aroma. The quantity of grapes was on the long-time average at our winery.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Eiswein
(Gault Millau: 96 points)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Auslese
(Wine Spectator: 95 points)

Halenberg -Lay- Riesling „Großes Gewächs“
(Gault Millau: 93 points)

2003

In recalling 2003, we immediately think of the hottest summer Germany had ever experienced. The vines started to bloom very early in the first place. It was the earliest blooming since 1993. At the beginning of July, the development of the vines was three weeks ahead of the long-time average, and by the end of the month, with the Mediterranean temperatures, the first grapes started to ripen. A sensation in our latitudes! Day after day, the sun continued to shine from the azure blue sky. It is incredible how well the vines came to terms with such a heat and tremendous drought. Only in the extremely steep slopes with thin earth layer, the lack of water was obvious. In order to maintain the vitality of the vines, we gave some support in several plots by watering with drip irrigation hoses we got in a hurry, until the long awaited rain late August defused the situation.
The grape harvest began early October. Beautiful golden yellow sweet grapes were gathered in perfect weather conditions. Since the rain early September triggered a little noble rot, which turned into perfect raisins due to the dry autumn weather, the selection of beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese was possible. The must weights increased in 2003 even higher than in 2001 and 2002, while the acidity values were much lower. In the end, the wines were somewhat more powerful than usual. In fact, you can taste the heat of the year.
Although this is probably the most exceptional vintage we have ever had, we believe that it has a good aging potential. The vintage 1937 comparable at least to some extent is the proof that it is possible.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
(Gault Millau: 96 points)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Auslese -Goldkapsel-
(Gault Millau: 92 points)

Halenberg Riesling „Großes Gewächs“
(Gault Millau: 90 points)

2002

That an excellent vintage was obtained again in 2002 in spite of changeable weather in autumn was thanks to strong wind which dried the grapes quickly after every rain. So keep calm and don't panic! During dry weather periods the harvest crew members joined forces to make the most of time. If it had stayed without rain for two weeks towards the end of October, the vintage 2002 would have set completely new standards. With a potential of grapes that is at least equivalent to that of the previous year, we should be satisfied though.
In fact, the wines made of them have convinced the specialists. Gault Millau indeed awarded us for the vintage 2002 the title "Collection of the Year"! The vintage is crowned with a magnificent Eiswein from Halenberg.

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Eiswein -Goldkapsel-
(Gault Millau: 100 Punkte, best sweet Weißwein)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Spätlese -Rutsch-
(Gault Millau: 92 points)

Halenberg Riesling Auslese trocken
(Gault Millau: 92 points)

2001

We had a wonderful summer in 2001. July and August were predominantly sunny. Only a few rainy days, which, however, fully covered the needs of the vines. The magnificent weather ended for the time being in September, and the rainy cool weather destroyed our optimistic expectations. October was "golden" as we had stable high pressure weather conditions, spoiling again the vine as well as the human being. In combination with late harvest (it was only on the 18th of October when it began!), exceptionally high ripeness and wonderful aroma of the grapes were obtained. The harvest was completed so late as on the 5th of November, when the acidity values were still good.
It was worthwhile waiting patiently: Especially the American press gave us overwhelming praise. Wine Spectator rated our Riesling wines with over 90 marks seven times!

Best of the vintage:

Halenberg Riesling Auslese
(Wine Spectator: 97 points)

Halenberg Riesling Eiswein
(Wine Spectator: 96 points)

Halenberg Riesling Auslese trocken
(Gault Millau: 92 points)

2000

A brilliant start of the summer, so early as Easter (!), was followed by an explosive development in the nature. At a record tempo, the blooming of the vine was completed. A perfect start for our vines! But then the summer turned into capricious spring weather. September was rainy and warm, causing early rot of some grapes, but the impact was not so grave thanks to our inclined vineyards which dry off quickly.
Early October, we had a very good level of ripeness and hoped for dry autumn weather, which unfortunately was not fulfilled to such extent as we had wished. Above all, the autumn fogs prevented the highly ripe grapes from being concentrated through drying up, and that is why our efforts to select Beerenauslese in Halenberg failed.
The wines of the vintage 2000 show, due to the long vegetative period, fine fruitiness and delicate-passionate, harmonious acidity. Careful selective hand picking, removing of unusable grapes and treatment of the grapes with utmost care were so important as seldom before. The result is the reward for the efforts. A brilliant Eiswein crowns the vintage.

Best of the vintage:

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Eiswein
(Gault Millau: 98 points, best sweet Weißwein)

Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Eiswein
(Wine Spectator: 95 points)

Halenberg Riesling Auslese -Goldkapsel-
(Gault Millau: 92 points)