2011 Schloss Johannisberg "Grünlack" Riesling Spätlese
*Editors’ Choice* Aromas of sugar cookie and apple preserves entice on this ripe, rich spätlese. It’s ethereally light on the palate, but deeply concentrated, with honey and peach flavors braced by soft pink-grapefruit acidity. It finishes elegantly, with a slick of honeycomb and lavender perfume. Drink now for its floral, fruity decadence.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Enticing bouquet of honeydew melon, nectarine and sweet lime. Velvety, sweet papaya fruit and salty acidity give this wine an exotic kick. Very pure and well-balanced, finishing lively and elegant, with a spicy crispness.
Plenty of wine estates tout their long and storied histories, but the depth of history at Schloss Johannisberg is something rarely matched. The first actual document of the vineyard dates back to the year 817. According to wine writer Hugh Johnson in his book "Vintage", the vineyard site is said to have been personally selected by the Emperor Charlemagne himself. The magnificent south-facing slope visible from the Rhine was the first place the snow melted in the springtime, thus revealing its volume of precious sun exposure at this difficult latitude, so Charlemagne ordered that the the monestary on top of the hill plant it with vines. Nine hundred years later in 1748, the estate was the first to recognize the unsurpassed quality of the Riesling grape and plant it exclusively. Schloss Johannisberg also recognized the benefits of noble rot and late harvesting, and in 1775 the estate enjoyed their first official "Spatlese" vintage. Ever since this magical vintage, they would strive to harvest these late harvest grapes rather than just benefit from the occasional happy accident. This brought even further fame to the estate, and during this 18th Century heyday when Bordeaux was also enjoying a golden age, the wines of Schloss Johannisberg commanded prices matched by perhaps no one else in the world... not even the yet-to-be-classified Bordeaux first growths.