2016 Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

95
RP
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Product ID
2016-joh-jos-prum-graacher-himmelreich-riesling-spatlese
 

Wine Critic Reviews for 2016 Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese (AP 08 17) is discreet and smoky on the deep, well-defined nose. Juicy-piquant and salty on the well-structured and refreshingly mineral palate, the Himmelreich is tight and expressive, with the sweetness superbly balanced by the spicy, grippy phenols/minerals. This is a really complex Spätlese that is highly stimulating today and will still be so in 20 or 30 years.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP
Juicy but super elegant and refined with great mineral freshness, making this an extremely attractive wine. And yes, this has some sweetness but you'd hardly think so. Where are those spicy prawns? Drink or hold.

James Suckling | 94 JS
Despite a faintly cheesy, reductive “Mosel stink,” fresh apple and pineapple project a penetratingly fragrant as well as tangy personality to this polished, glossy, buoyant bottling. For now, it lacks the clarity, precision or interest of the corresponding Kabinett, but it’s obviously early days, especially in consideration of the glacial pace at which Prüm wines often evolve. Certainly, though, there is admirable and refreshing sheer length.

Vinous Media | 91 VM

Wine Details on 2016 Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

More Information
Producer Joh. Jos. Prum
Region Germany: Germany is one of those places that have the longest spanning affinity for quality wines and the most profound relationship with the art of producing it. For, in Germany, due to its northernmost position and challenging conditions, viticulture is truly a craft. Picture rivers decisively cutting through proud, soaring mountains, the clearest air you've ever breathed as you gaze upon the sun-kissed sides of these staggering giants. Right alongside the outlined edges, hundreds of small vineyards seem to defy gravity, all facing the light, soaking in whatever warmth they can get. Their position is so specific and hard to reach that all of the work around them is done manually. Every step of this noble craft is done by man, in this day in age where the automatised industry has taken over. The sweet, fruity, wonderfully fragrant white wines are as crisp, acidic and elegant as one would imagine upon visiting their birthplace. Mostly made from Riesling, these magnificent elixirs perfectly illustrate the hard work, dedication and intimacy cultivated at these miraculous sites.

More recently developed but equally as valued in Germany are the Pinot Noir-based reds, some of the most sophisticated and well-balanced wines one could taste. A taste of German winemaking should be found bottled and stored inside any sommelier's cellar.
Subregion Bernkastel
Appellation Bernkastel
Climat/Vineyard Graacher Himmelreich
Cru Premier Cru
Country Germany: While the combined surface of Germany's vineyards equals out to one-tenth of Spain's, it is listed as the world's eighth-largest wine producer in the world. Most German wines revolve around either Riesling or Pinot Noir, and as is often the case in similar scenarios, these grape varietals are brought to their fullest potential. Riesling fans rejoice, as the quality of German whites is nothing short of heavenly. Whether you prefer a dryer or sweeter white, you can find an oasis or two among Germany's reputable producers. There's no better way to spend your summer than with a classic German wine or two.
Type of Wine German White: German Riesling, grown along the Rhine, is one of the most famous white grape varieties worldwide. Winemakers rarely blend this highly acidic varietal with other grapes. A bit behind Riesling, Muller-Thurgau is another popular varietal in Germany, obtained from a crossing of Riesling and Silvaner. Silvaner is the third-most cultivated white varietal in Germany.
Varietal Riesling: It has been 587 years since the official “birth” of Riesling, the Noble grape variety of Germany. In that time, this white grape has seen exponential growth and popularity worldwide. Riesling has traveled beyond the Rhine River, where it is thought to have originated, spreading throughout Germany, Austria and Alsace, Australia, New Zealand and California. New World adaptations may have helped bring the varietal into the global spotlight, but its ancestral home and greatest reflection of terroir remains in Germany.

As aforementioned, the first recorded mention of the varietal appeared in the 1435 sale of several Riesling vines to German Count, John IV of Katzenelnbogen. Prior this transaction, the history of Riesling remains unclear, other than it first inhabiting the Rhine River region, which runs throughout parts of Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. In 1998, scientists in Austria, using DNA technology, were able to determine that Riesling is the progeny of Heunisch Weiss, otherwise known as Gouais Blanc. Said to be a commoner among superior grape varietals, Gouais Blanc is ancient, originated in Germany and has sired some of the greatest varietals in the world, including Chardonnay, Semillon, Gamay noir, Melon and Aligote.

The small, round white-green berries of Riesling turn a pretty gold color, often with lenticels (pore-like structures, resembling freckles) when ripe. Vines can vary significantly from weak to moderately vigorous depending on the climatic region, soil characteristics and moisture availability. They are adaptable to a wide range of soil types making it quite dynamic and versatile.

One of Riesling’s most unique and celebrated qualities is its vibrant expression of terroir. This “sense of place” enables the particular elements of the soil and microclimate to be uniquely expressed through the wine itself, allowing this globetrotting varietal to flourish in similar winegrowing conditions around the world. Riesling has found success and popularity in California and the Finger Lakes of New York, Australia, New Zealand, France, Hungary and South Africa. However, it reaches its true zenith in the Rhine River Valley.

Mosel, Pfalz and Rheingau are the key winegrowing locations in Germany, where the climates are cool with low average temperatures and with the bulk of rainfall occurring during the summer. The vines of Riesling thrive here, in heat-retaining, stony soils on steep, south-facing slopes along the river valleys where they find optimal sunlight and natural growing conditions. Austria and Alsace (France) share similar climatic influences and terroir due to the proximity of the Rhine River. Their winegrowing industries have been greatly impacted by the Riesling grape varietal.

The commonly misunderstood Riesling grape varietal produces wines that are quite austere when young, making many wine drinkers wary of them. A fine Riesling almost demands time in the bottle. In good vintages, Riesling can last several decades and rival the finest whites in the world. At a glimpse Riesling may seem simple, but is actually rather complex. Riesling can be harvested early or late, vinified in many ways and can range from dry to very sweet. The five types of Riesling are Kabinett (bone dry to off-dry) Spatlese (sweet) Auslese (sweeter) Beerenauslese (very sweet) Trockenbeerenauslese (sweetest). Thanks to its naturally high acidity, it is a supremely agreeable drinker that will please just about any palate. From tingly-dry, steely-lemon to refreshingly green apple, peach, pear and grapefruit to honeyed and luscious apricot; the myriad of flavor profiles of Riesling is impressive.

The Noble Riesling grape may be complex, might be misunderstood and may be more obscure than other white varietals, but is one that produces some of the most fascinating, multifaceted and unique wines in the world.

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