Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Goldkapsel, unregulated term of approbation referring to German Rieslings. Use of gold capsules to signify superior quality was a response, initially and still primarily in the mosel, to the 1971 german wine law’s prohibition on labels of traditional terms such as cabinet, feine, feinste, or hochfeinste. Because the band of permissible must weight for Auslese is especially broad and Auslesen are the products of selective picking, usually in very small volumes, there is ample room for gradations. Some growers even designated really fine examples lange Goldkapsel (long gold capsule) and the abbreviations GKA and LGKA became established. From the 1990s the designations spread to wines of all possible prädikats including, at some estates, dry wines, the standards employed being entirely estate-specific. Wines referred to in this way on price lists sometimes lack a physical gold capsule, and in recent years some growers have snuck the tiny letters GKA or LGKA on to a label without the authorities finding grounds to object.