Alsace Vintage Chart & Ratings


By Andrew Jefford

Last updated: April 17, 2024

The vintage charts and harvest reports provided by the Wine Scholar Guild give you the ranking for every French wine region and vintage from 2000 to today. Andrew Jefford, award-winning wine journalist for Decanter Magazine and author of twelve books on wine including The New France, has compiled information and written the vintage charts starting with the 2013 vintage. He is also updating information for the vintages prior to 2013.


Vintage Quality Drink Comments
2022 Drink/Cellar After the stressful 2021 season, the vines in Alsace were ready to produce generously in 2022 – and the winegrowers were hoping for a slightly easier ride to harvest. The season began coolly, with budbreak spread over the first three weeks on April and no frost problems. May and June were dry, hot months with low disease pressure; the heat and nascent drought, though, caused some coulure and millerandage, especially of the Riesling, and hopes for a large harvest faded at that point. There was some rain (and hail) in Alsace at the end of June but much less than elsewhere; as a consequence Alsace was the Northern French region which suffered most from the fierce July and August heat of 2022, with a notable heat spike in the first half of August. Happily this was followed by some mid-August rain (with more hail in Niedermorschwihr and Katzenthal). In the end, the harvest was a long and sporadic one, since the drought had blocked maturation in some vineyards but not others. There was more rain at the end of August and into September, and this was generally welcomed as it helped the grapes recover some of their poise and finish their ripening cycles (Olivier Humbrecht MW began on August 22nd, whereas Michel Chapoutier’s Alsace team only began harvesting on September 29th). It wasn’t an easy year for sweet wines since the dry summer conditions weren’t conducive to botrytis – then, when the rains came at the season’s end, grey rot threatened. For dry wines, though, 2022 is an excellent year, particularly in the best sites, where the wines are expressive and elegant, with ample pungency and drive. It’s another good year for Pinot Noir, following the successes of 2020.
2021 Drink/Cellar After a cold and unusually snowy winter, March was mild, initiating budburst.  Alsace wasn’t spared the frosts of early April, though the cold winter meant that the losses here were less dramatic than elsewhere (10% in general compared to 50% or more in Burgundy).  The rest of the growing season remained a battle against the elements, with a lack of sunshine and repeated episodes of heavy rain dominating May, June and July; losses from mildew damage outweighed those from frost in Alsace.  August, finally, saw a welcome return of warmth and sunshine.  After more difficult weather at the beginning of September, beautiful early autumn weather in late September and into October paved the way for a late harvest which was much better in quality than growers had dared hope earlier in the season.  The Alsace crop overall was 20% below normal – but some domains suffered more.  “A loss of 50% might be regarded as catastrophic in a normal year,” reported Olivier Humbrecht MW, “but in 2021, it represented a victory over the elements.”  2021 is a fine year for dry Alsace wines in general: tense, textured and with outstanding fruit qualities, and especially so for Riesling.  By contrast, few sweet wines were made in 2021.  
2020 Drink/Cellar As elsewhere in France, winter in Alsace was mild and wet, and the vines got off to an early start; despite this, there were no frost losses and flowering was successful.  Ironically, this was cause for anxiety in Alsace, since 2020 was the first year of a new regional agreement to limit yields for still wines to 65 hl/ha and for Crémant to 70 hl/ha (both from 80 hl/ha formerly): an attempt to limit the region’s perennial problems of over-production.  Growers needn’t have worried: summer was hot and dry and yields fell naturally because of this.  The harvest began very early in this region which has traditionally resorted to late harvesting, with the Crémant harvest beginning in August and still wines in early September.  Growers were particularly happy with the Pinot Noir crop this year, considered by some to be the best ever (and with Pinot Noir often the first of the still-wine varieties to be picked), but every variety gave good results.  Production of sweet wines (after a fine late season) returned to normal after 2019’s very short crop.  
2019 Drink/Cellar A mild winter meant an early start for the vines, though a cool April and May checked the advance somewhat.  There were even frosts in May, though fortunately these didn’t greatly affect the best vineyards; a long and irregular flowering followed in mid-June, after which the vines were three weeks behind the 2018 seasonal pattern.  All change in mid-June and July, as the weather became very hot and dry, and by the end of July drought was beginning to affect the warmest, stoniest sites.  August rains saved the day; by véraison in mid-August the season was back on chronological track.  Magnificent harvesting weather throughout September and on into October contributed further to ripeness, and growers were hugely enthusiastic about the quality of what they harvested, with the wines showing freshness, structure and richness alike.  Both dry and sweet wines will age well.
2018 Drink/Cellar After a mild, wet January, February was cold and snowy, with temperatures of -13°C by the end of the month. March and April turned wet and mild again and flowering came in early June, up to two weeks early, as the rains continued: Alsace received a year’s rainfall in the first seven months of the year. Temperatures soared and the humidity dropped away from the end of July, with a 40°C heat spike at the end of August. The warm weather continued throughout September and into October, as the nights increasingly grew cooler, enabling a leisurely harvest to unfold over two months or more. The Crémants were picked from August 22nd, with picking for all varieties underway by the second week in September, depending on site. 2018 is a generous vintage in both quantity and style, with Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir being particularly successful, and with substantial production of both Vendange Tardive wines and Séléction de Grains Nobles. The wines will age well in both dry and sweet style.
2017 Drink After a very cold winter period (with 56 sub-zero days in December 2016 and January 2017), the early spring weather turned warm, with early budburst. As in so many other French regions, frosts struck in late April (20th and 21st in Alsace), affecting 4,500 ha, with 1,500 ha of vineyards losing 80% or more of their crop. The overall harvest (907,000 hl) was 20 per cent down on 2016. The frosts struck flatland or bottom-slope vineyards particularly hard: above all Auxerrois and Pinot Blanc destined for Crémant. After that, conditions were almost perfect for the rest of the season, with a sunny summer interspersed with rain showers, cool nights, and perfect botrytis-forming conditions towards the end of the season.  Summer was also relatively hot here (the fifth hottest in the last 40 years).  It was one of the earliest harvests ever, beginning on August 21st, and although quantity is down, quality is high for all varieties, as well as for red wines and late-harvest wines. The wines are perfumed, complex and concentrated.
2016 Drink After an alarmingly warm January, spring was cool and fretful, and budburst came normally in April.  June was intensely wet, but the weather improved for flowering at the end of the month, and summer was thereafter warm and dry, with no more rain until September 18th.  Harvest began at the end of September and continued through a generally fine October with good ripening conditions, but little or no botrytis (so there will be few Vendange Tardive and SGN wines this year).  The overall harvest size is normal, and 2016 has produced classically poised, fresh Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer wines. 
2015 Drink A perfect weather script for Alsace: a warm, dry spring and early summer was followed by a July heatwave, to the extent that the vines were suffering by early August.  Rain storms on August 9th and 10th were hugely helpful, and after that, the vines ripened perfectly for a leisurely harvest throughout September, VT and SGN included.  All varieties excelled, including Pinot Noir.  2015 is considered the greatest Alsace vintage since 1990 and 1971, though quantities were not large.
2014 Drink/Past peak A warm spring and early summer led to an exceptionally successful flowering and fruit set.  July, though, had double its average rainfall, creating disease pressures. August was cooler than usual, leading to Drosophila suzukii attacks on Alsace’s dark-skinned grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer).  Picking in mid- to late-September produced a smaller-than-hoped-for harvest of beautifully balanced wines which, like 2013, favoured dry styles over sweet.  Riesling and Pinot Gris were particularly successful.
2013 Drink/Past peak A cool, slow spring meant that flowering was delayed until the second half of June.  Mid-July to mid-August was warm and dry (though with hail in some sectors), meaning that early September rain was welcome.  The rest of September was dry and sunny prior to an early October harvest.  2013 is a fine, low-yielding year for dry wines, especially Riesling but also Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer: fresh, elegant and vital.  There are few VT and SGN wines.
2012 Drink Spring frosts , extended flowering with isolated hail followed by very dry summer & water stress. Beneficial rains in September. Reduced harvest of mature grapes leading to structured wines with potentially long life. Some compare to 2010 or 2002.
2011 Drink/Past peak Early start. Cool, wet summer marked by frequent storms. Very sunny end of August. Normal volume after short 2010. Sorting key to quality. Lighter, often delicate wines of lower alcohol & moderate acidity, many with early appeal. Considerable variability.
2010 Drink Mixed spring weather, prolonged flowering, coulure & millerandage. Irregular ripening by variety & parcel. Low yields of concentrated, expressive wines with elevated acidity. Small quantities of very fine VT/SGN across varieties with marked botrytis. Best dry & late-harvest wines will benefit from long cellaring.
2009 Drink/Past peak Early flowering, hot & dry August. Dry September with cool nights. Healthy, mature wines with higher alcohol, ripe acidity. Grands crus highly successful. Fine October weather, VT/SGN resulting from desiccation of berries (passerillage) rather than botrytis. Exceptional late-harvest Riesling.
2008 Drink/Past peak Marked variation between early-, late-ripening locales. Damp, cool June extends flowering. Warm but not hot, stormy summer & wet early September. Slow maturation. Structured Riesling, Gewurztraminer from best sites will keep well. Successful VT/SGN wines.
2007 Drink/Past peak Uneven, long season. Warm spring, wet & cold periods in summer. Notably slow ripening. Dry wines are elegant, tend to be totally dry in ’07 (no residual sugar). Gewurztraminer excelled: rich, highly aromatic. Large number of exceptional VT/SGN.
2006 Past peak Benign season ends with rain, 24 September into early October. Careful sorting required, some unevenness. Very few VT/SGN except Gewurztraminer, picked after rains.
2005 Drink/Past peak Heat at flowering, many green harvest to limit yields. Best wines are ripe, balanced. Favorable conditions in October for noble rot, exceptional Gewurztraminer.
2004 Past peak Riesling in dry style performed best. High yields resulted in many weaker wines. Hardly any VT production.
2003 Past peak Earliest season since 1893. Record summer temperatures, water stress, hailstorms. Low yields averaged 67 hl/ha. Negligible noble rot, low output of VT, no SGN. Very ripe Pinots, Gewurztraminer. High alcohol & low acidity are common.
2002 Past peak Varying heat & humidity in summer. Uniform flowering, crop thinning controlled potential volume. Riesling stands out. Favorable end of October for VT/SGN Gewurztraminer.
2001 Past peak Indian summer completes ripening. Riesling particularly successful. Very fine year for late-harvest wines across varieties. Rules for ripeness of VT/SGN revised as of 2001 vintage, increasing minimum sugar levels.
2000 Past peak Precocious season, ideal spring, hot & dry summer. Ripe, substantial wines with sound acidities. Widespread noble rot, memorable SGN in relatively large quantity (more than 1997, a voluminous year for late-harvest wines).
Quality Chart Legend
Poor to Fair
Fair to Good
Good to Excellent
Excellent to Exceptional
These vintage notes have been prepared by Andrew Jefford, Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild. New vintage information, and any revisions of previous vintage drinking suggestions, are made each autumn. Use the charts as a guide only; in every vintage there will be outperforming and underperforming wines.

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