The 2001 vintage in Germany is destined to go down in history as one of Germany's finest ever with parallels being made with the legendary 1959 vintage. Quantities are down on 2000 (by as much as 50% in the Rheingau) but growers have been more then compensated with wines of exceptional concentration and class. Winter was damp and mild and some minor damage was caused by April frosts. With the exception of some rainy days at the beginning of August the summer was exceptionally hot and dry with temperatures often hitting 35 degrees centigrade. The weather cooled considerably in September and sporadic hail in early October caused some damage in the Rheingau. The remainder of October saw gloriously sunny weather and this continued through to the first half of November. Glorious wines have been produced across the board with producers who delayed harvesting until October and November producing the finest examples. The Kabinetts are ultra ripe and superbly well balanced while a staggeringly high proportion of wines at Spätlese level and above have been produced. The latter are the real gems of the vintage with the best examples being extraordinarily concentrated and displaying much finesse and having a very long future ahead of them.