2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Gold Capsule Auslese

SKU #1147413 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 So lusciously ripe, with notes of mango and guava, this is an explosion of sweet fruit, honey and flowers. Searing citrus acidity cuts through the palate, highlighting layers of crushed stone and tea leaf that add complexity. It’s so exquisitely delicate, but lingers endlessly on the finish. Editors’ Choice. A.I.  (2/2014)

K&L Notes

Just upstream from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr is the Graacher Himmelreich. With deeper, richer soils, this site is a little less steep and its south-west exposure ensures the wines from this site always have a racy and juicy acid background that really make the wines sing. The 2012 vintage presented weather conditions both challenging, then favorable, and it would do consumers well to follow advice from the Wine Spectator's 2012 vintage report: "For German wine fans, seeking out fastidious producers will be crucial when the 2012s hit the market." Such is the cellar of Joh. Jos. Prüm, where Manfred Prüm along with daughter Dr. Katharina Prüm, turn out perennially classic, collectible Rieslings. Auslesen (selected harvest) are made from hand selected bunches of grapes and must comply with a legally mandated minimum must weight. The gold capsule signifies a wine of even greater quality. From Mosel Fine Wines: "93 points. This offers a comparatively ripe feel on the nose as well as a long and fresh finish. The wine is quite driven by minerals and herbs on the palate and leaves an airy and smoky feel in the long and smooth finish. The wine develops a cool, zesty and minty side with airing." (10/2013)

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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.