2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese (Previously $35)

SKU #1114093 93 points Wine Spectator

 Elegant, with rich citrus overtones to the passion fruit, melon and baked pineapple flavors. A touch languid, with notes of lemon cake and white chocolate that linger on the rich, well-honeyed finish. Drink now through 2032. (Web Only- 2012)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Prum 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese is scented and flavored with spearmint- and crushed stone-infused; musk-, lily- and peony-wreathed apple, honeydew melon, and blueberry, with an invigoratingly tart chew of berry skin lending counterpoint to the wine’s luscious, silky texture and its consequently succulently soothing aspects, including a seductive sense of liquid floral perfume. While this hasn’t the transparency or interactivity that characterized the corresponding Kabinett, it largely makes up for this with its own distinct virtues. Look for three decades of delight.  (4/2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Supple aromas of cling peach, sweet lime and wild herbs. The rich, deep, velvety passion fruit flavor is animated by an elegant acid backbone that gives the wine poise. Ends on a delicately spicy note.  (2/2013)

K&L Notes

From Mosel Fine Wines: "91 points. This offers rich and elegant flavors of yellow peach, mirabelle, pear and spices but also cooler smoky scents of laurel and lily flowers. The wine is juicy and deliciously spicy on the palate and offers a most elegant and airy feel in the finish." (10/2012) Enjoying a little less sun in the morning and more sun in the afternoon, the wines from Bernkasteler Badstube, which border those of the Graacher Himmelreich, tend to be just a bit lighter and more delicate than those of its neighbor. 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. But unlike 2010, where the grapes were über-ripe, the main focus of the vintage is the Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese wines. Even at such an early stage of development the wines are clearly showing the different vineyard characteristics and the fantastic promise of the vintage. 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 German Wine Buyer)

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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 Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, 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.