James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of Germany 2021


The No. 3 German wine, the Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Rheingau Grünlack Spätlese 2020, belongs to the legal category below Auslese but is a tremendous achievement for this producer, almost matching the aromatic and filigree perfection of the previous vintage, which was our No. 1 German wine last year.

Why do we weigh the factors quantity and price when assembling the Top 100 hit lists, as well as the ratings that we’ve given? Well, those factors massively impact how accessible these wines are. In these lists it’s important for us to avoid making a major recommendation for wines of which there are only a few hundred bottles, because you’ll almost certainly be unable to buy them.

There are 35,000 bottles of the stunningly racy and super-mineral dry Robert Weil Riesling Kiedrich Gräfenberg GG 2020, making it the largest production wine in this Top 100. That, together with the stunning quality and moderate price, are the reasons it placed 12th. The smallest production wines lie somewhat below 10 percent of that and are nearly all in the last third of the list.

Unfortunately, these rules hit some of Germany’s most exciting rising star winemakers. For example, Stefan Steinmetz of the Gunther Steinmetz winery in the Mosel barely gained a position on this list, and his Mosel colleague Julian Haart of the eponymous winery was locked out completely. In both cases, this means wines that scored 100 points are absent from our Top 100 list.