Millésime 2022

ZH-29.01.24©Margot Reinartz26

Description of the vintage

2022 is following a stressful 2021 vintage, both for the vines and the winegrowers ! The combined small crop and eventually better weather in August 2021 allowed for an important floral induction (the moment when the vines prepare the fructification for the year to come – a leaf bud becomes fertile and carries the future cluster). It was no surprise to see lots of clusters on the vines in spring 2022! There was some frost risks early April, but the temperatures didn’t go low enough to create problems in Alsace. Budbreak was slow and spread over the first three weeks of April.

Both May and June were very dry and hot. The vines eventually grew rapidly, and first flowers were seen in the Clos Jebsal around May 20th and finished very early June in the later ripening vineyards of Rangen and Clos Windsbuhl. The risk for diseases was very low even though Oidium had to be watched carefully. End May, it was possible to see signs of early hydric stress. The high temperatures and lack of water during flowering caused important coulure and millerandage, especially on the Riesling grape and valley floor vineyards. In these situations, many flower caps were stuck together and couldn’t set properly. In a few weeks, a huge crop potential became a very small crop in many vineyards ! The vineyards in Wintzenheim (Hengst) benefited of some rain after 20th June, but unfortunately with some small hail. At the time we were happy that only a small area had this problem (20% loss), but at the end of summer we would have preferred to have this rain and small hail on all our vineyards. The lack of water in 2022 was more damaging than a small hail! July was also hot and dry. The first grapes started to change colour around July 14th (again in the Clos Jebsal). Some rain (Brand) end July was welcomed but not really enough to prepare the vines for a very hot first half of August (temperatures between 35 to 38°C). At last, an important rainfall brought all the necessary water on the granitic soils of Brand, Sommerberg and Wineck-Schlossberg middle August but with important hail damage mostly on the villages of Niedermorschwihr and Katzenthal. Only the Grand Cru Brand (central part and west) was lucky to have water with almost no hail damage. Unfortunately, the valley floor vineyards had no rain at all. In these vineyards, the berries stopping growing early and contained very little juice.

The harvest started early on August 22nd. In order to be able to do short days of harvest (finishing before it was too hot in the afternoon) and not get caught going too late, we employed sometimes as many as 100 people in the vineyards. Most vineyards were harvested the first half of September, finishing with some of the richer wines of Gewurztraminer on September 20th. The granitic soils ripened very quickly, and at the exception of Sommerberg and Wineck-Schlossberg, the crop size is good. Limestone soils also performed very well. They were not affected by hydric stress and the berries and foliage developed very well. Valley floor vineyards (Herrenweg vineyard/Roche Roulée/Turckheim) suffered the most from the heat and lack of water.

2022 would have been a difficult vintage for late harvest botrytised wines. When the ripeness is so early under dry conditions, botrytis doesn’t develop easily, and if it does, the risk of grey rot is big and that was the case in 2022. The hydric stress, at the opposite of 2021, also slowed down the soil activity. 2022 wines had much lower nitrogen level causing very complicated end of fermentations. The cellar team work hard in spring 2023 constantly restarting fermentations from yeast selections in the cellar. This allowed all the wines that were supposed to become dry to finish their fermentations over the summer 2023. The average yield in 2022 is 37.9hl/ha (33hl/ha Grands Crus and 38hl/ha Alsace). All the wines are expressive and show an unsuspected elegance, resulting from a harmonious combination of minerals, good acidity, ripe tannins, and no residual sweetness where it is not necessary.

2022 is a contrasted vintage that produced great wines on the top vineyards in Alsace.

Definitely worth cellaring but for some also very enjoyable in their youth.