2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1107256

From Jancisrobinson.com: "Cask sample. Smoky/reductive...Fine, bright apricot fruit. It is sweet but somehow you hardly notice the sweetness within the harmony of fruit and acidity and minerality. Dense but very light on its feet. Long." (07/2012) Weingut Joh. Jos. Prum was founded in 1911 by Johann Josef Prum and is currently one of nine German wine estates ranked five stars by Gault Millau, which is the European wine world's equivalent to the Michelin guide and International Winery of the Year 2009 and 2010 by Wine & Spirits Magazine. The Wehlener Sonnenuhr is, without question, the most famous of vineyard sites within the Prum Estate and if not all of the Mosel Valley. With its south-southwest exposure, weathered grey slate and ridiculous steepness (up to 70%) it provides an optimal growing climate for Riesling. The wines from here show fantastic depth of stone fruit flavors accompanied by a fine line of minerality and length. The 2011 vintage was marked by perfect springtime weather conditions, a nice, drawn out, somewhat cool summer and lovely fall that allowed for extended hang times and, in turn, excellent ripening. Somewhat similar to the 2007 vintage, the quality in 2011 is fantastic and the wines are abundant. The 2011s will be slightly more accessible earlier on (5-15 years depending on Prädikat), but with their complexity, elegance and fine structure the aging potential is frustratingly fantastic (patience may be required). (Eric Story, K&L)

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Price: $37.99
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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted. Click for a list of bestselling items from Germany.