German AP Nos.

I had seen a German TN on another board where the AP Number was listed as part
of the specs in the original post. I roughly understand this number to be a
verification of sorts that the wine has properly been through the
classification system, by why is it beneficial to include it in one's notes?
Jason
Reply to
Jaybert41
Normally not very interesting - the number lists area, commune, producer and batch/bottling for a given year. Theoretically there might be two identically named wines with different numbers but you don't see that very often. I recall, however, once commenting to a grower that his Auslese should have had a bit more acid for balance, whereupon he produced another bottle of the same wine with exactly that property! Anders
Reply to
Anders Tørneskog
The AP number should always be given in a TN for a top German wine. For auslese and above, the best growers usually make several batches of different quality that are sold under different AP numbers. The German wine laws no longer allow a wine to be labled with a German word meaning the "best", etc for, say, an Auslese. Thus the AP no. is the only official way to tell the different batches apart. A few of the best growers use different style labels or capsule colors for different qualities of wine. Thus the basic auslese might have a white capsule, a better a gold capsule, and the best a long gold capsule. Schloss Johannisberg has used a special "castle" label on some of their top selections. Because of abuse before 1971, German wine laws are very strict and do not in general allow indications that the wine is a special selection in text on the label. Using the AP no, in a TN for Liebfraumilch would be silly. However it would be very important for a J.J. Prüm auslese from a top vintage such as 1976, for example.
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Reply to
Cwdjrx _
In article , "Anders Tørneskog" writes:
I agree you don't see it often, but it does happen (I'm trying to think, I'm pretty sure I'veseen references more in say Auslese and above bottlings, where there are maybe two different barrels; somehow I think Donnhoff, Schmidt-Wagner, come to mind as far as 2001s). I personally justdon't have the energy to write them down, but appreciate those hat do. Dale
Dale Williams Drop "damnspam" to reply
Reply to
Dale Williams
Aaah... now this makes a lot of sense to me; albeit requiring some reference work to figure out what the numbers correspond to. So basically it is a tool used to identify even more specific information about wines that may have been bottled from different barrels, tanks, etc.
That probably saves a lot of misleading bottling information that could create difficulties for beginners such as myself thinking that they may have the "best" wine.
Okay, so that gives a little more explanation at to some wines that are referred to as Gold Cap or One Star.
Thanks to everyone for their input.
Jason
Reply to
Jaybert41
The AP number should always be given in a TN for a top German wine. For auslese and above, the best growers usually make several batches of different quality that are sold under different AP numbers. The German wine laws no longer allow a wine to be labled with a German word meaning the "best", etc for, say, an Auslese.
I beg to disagree. "Best" or "finest" is illegal, but you'll usually find something to distinguish various batches of a wine from a given producer. Many will designate their best Ausleses with an attribute, two or three or even 4 stars, others give a barrel number, others again mark them with a golden capsule, which again may have two different lengths (normal or long). These will all have different numbers, of course. But, seeing two *identically* labeled bottles with different numbers is pretty rare, imho. Anders
Reply to
Anders Tørneskog
Some valuable info here from John "Swetstuff" Trombley, a passionate advocateof German Riesling:
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Dale
Dale Williams Drop "damnspam" to reply
Reply to
Dale Williams
Hi, reading the info I see: "Although this system serves to uniquely identify each bottling, it has been criticized, and I believe rightly, for having standards that are much too low."
Whatever the standard is, the number does indeed identify the batch and it is extremely rare to see a presumed quality bottle without it. The point still is, you don't *normally* see two *equally* labeled bottles with different numbers. So, the number, imho, isn't very important in a tasting note.. Anders
Reply to
Anders Tørneskog
It is true that some makers of top German wines use capsule color codes, as I stated, and other methods to indicate their various grades of wine. However there is no legal basis for this and different growers use different methods. Thus you can tell the difference between their different grades only if you know exactly how each grower indicates quality without using words. If you just use the AP no. instead of long gold capsule, green capsule, castle label, number of stars on label, etc., this is so much more simple and you are sure what wine is being discussed it you try to compare a wine you buy with that in the review. There is nothing in the law to require bottles of different grades with different AP nos. to look different other than in the AP no. Of course this complication can be to one's advantage. I bought a case of J.J. Prüm's Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 1971, long gold capsule, for the price of their regular capsule wine. Some wholesaler did not know the difference and the retail store where I bought my wine got a bargin price and some other retail store got a rip off for the regular wine. Unfortunately many in the wine and spirits trade in the US and many of their customers do not know the subtle differences in the label or capsules since they vary so much from grower to grower, when used. I will only special order or bid on a German wine at auction if the AP no. can be provided. Any additional information such as long gold capsule is a plus. Often, but by no means always, the better wines within a class such as Auslese have a higher AP no. Usually the richest and best wines take longer to prepare and bottle before they are submitted for approval and an AP no. Thus an AP no. for an Auslese from the same year, grower, and vineyard that ends in 171 likely is a richer wine than one that ends in 115.
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Reply to
Cwdjrx _
The key word is "normally". But there is at least one reputed German grower who actually distinghuishes his different batches (upper, middle, lower site; morning/afternoon harvest) only by different AP numbers.
Unfortunately I don't remember hin name, but I'll ask in the German "Weinforum" mailing list and post it here. I have seen this discussed over there quite frequently.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
In article , Michael Pronay writes:
' Maybe Merkelbach? I seem to remember he has mutliple UrzWurz Spatlesen and Aulese (each Fuder gets a different AP)/. .
Thanks for following up Michael!
Dale
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Reply to
Dale Williams
Interesting piece that! I'll have to check on the story visiting Brauneberg and Brauneberger Hof in about 6 weeks time :-) Otherwise, browsing through weinguide.de it appears that Merkelbach indeed does do something like that - several different Ausleses from the same vineyard without other markings than the batch number. Anders
Reply to
Anders Tørneskog
This is not an unusual practice. In fact it is quite common. I know many vineyard owners, particularly, in the Mosel who do that. For some unknown reason on barrel with wine from the same vineyard will be just better than another. The winemaker will then submit that lot to the AP board as a separate wine. Most people do not notice the difference in AP numbers. On occasion when the wine is reviewed it will not "look for this or that AP number" I will be in Germany in October and get some specific information about this and will pass it on
Reply to
sibeer
Tørneskog"
bottlings, where
justdon't have the
When I attend tastings I write the AP down for everything except Kabinet and Qba level wines. Over the almost 30 years of tasting German Wines I have have seen it all. Worst of all, the one time that you taste a wine and don't write down the number is the time that you buy it and the numbers differ! 76ers were rife with multiple APs. Schloss Eltz, von Simmern all had numerous AP and they were all different with no other indication on the bottles. In 83, Zilliken Bockstein had 3 long cap Auslesen and were all "constructed" differently. One was a relatively pure Aus picking. One was a mix of Spat, Aus and Eiswein and the other was ... something else yet again (I don't remember). In 1999, Monchhof's well known Qba was in such hot demand, that a second batch was exported to make the American market happy. Some Qba's stand out as superior and others are just summer quaffing material. The first batch was hot!! The second was just not its equal. Maybe much of the Qba buying public wouldn't notice but informed German wine drinkers did.
Anyway, though it is not normal, it happens often enough that I am on my toes at all times when it comes to being an informed buyer of German Wines and noting AP's. German wines... gotta love them.
Lar
Reply to
Larry B

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