Vintage 1998

LC_20_050697  photo par Leif Carlsson

Description of the vintage

1998 was an extreme vintage from the beginning to the end. At the same time too dry or too hot (causing stress or sun burns), and sometimes too humid or rainy. May and June were warm, allowing an early and homogeneous flowering. Rains were important then until middle of July. A warm and dry period followed until the end of August. Beginning of August was very dry, but after that the weather was often very humid and rainy.

Although the year was difficult in term of weather, only oïdium could have caused some problems. All the vineyards properly managed had a net stop of growth, allowing a good change of colour and the ripeness was then very homogeneous. This was a big advantage in a year like 1998. All our vineyards located near or on the Herrenweg were harvested between 21st and 28th September in warm and dry weather condition, the hillsides were harvested between 12th and 24th October with perfect weather. It rained a lot between those two periods. In some case it provoked some grey rot, but in the well managed vineyard, it allowed some spectacular noble rot development during the dry second period.

1998 produced two styles of wines. The first group is characterised by a healthy crop and fruity wines, the second by high ripeness levels and high percentage of noble rot. In both cases, the acidity is well balanced and ripe.

No wine from 1998 was chaptalized and many wines fermented extremely slowly (often until spring or summer), so many wines will be bottled only early 2000. The average yield on the estate in 1998 was 41hl/ha, with big differences between grape varieties and locations.