The 2008s from Alsace are excellent, racy wines with bright acidity and fine fruit center to balance. Drinking them will be easy, getting there wasn’t. The vintage started propitiously with a cold winter followed by a moderate spring. Bud break came right on time. A dry May saw the vines progressing well, with early flowering sites speeding through the process.
In the second week of June, rain and cool temperatures delayed the late flowering sites, but warmer temperatures later in the month precluded too much damage from colure of millerandage. In the end a decent sized crop was set.
The weather during July and August fluctuated between hot and dry, and cold and wet. July was the wetter month, and managing the vineyards was tricky and labor intensive. The vines were vigorous and disease was a concern. August was better, with the exception of some heavy rains mid-month.
September saw rain and low temperatures during the first two weeks, and dry conditions later in the month. Finally, October started out sunny and dry with good diurnal temperature swings that allowed ripening to proceed without loss of acids. Good weather prevailed until the third week of the month when the rain returned and essentially ended the harvest.
As is often the case, the result of a tumultuous growing season was very good wines – focused, crisp and detailed, with lovely bright acidity and fruit to match that should age quite well.