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Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Hengst 2009 750ml
SKU 727821

Josmeyer Grand Cru Hengst Riesling 2009

Alsace - France

Professional Wine Reviews for Josmeyer Grand Cru Hengst Riesling 2009

Rated 90 by Stephen Tanzer
Palish bright yellow. Muskier and more exotic on the nose than the Brand, hinting at pineapple, acacia flower and dusty stone. Then dry and energetic in the mouth, more powerful and backward than the Brand (the alcohol here is 14%, vs. 13% for the Brand). For all its breadth this is locked up today, dominated by a youthful, almost medicinal crushed stone character. Finishes quite dry and uncompromising. Lay this one down.
Rated 90 by Robert Parker
While most of the Josmeyer wines of this vintage were bottled already in Spring, their 2009 Riesling Hengst was slow to ferment (descending to two grams residual sugar, though) and got bottled in June. (This having been June of that by now infamous year practically without summer, 2010, there was no need to worry about vinous misbehavior on account of warm weather.) There is an impressive balance of oily richness with chalky, stony minerality and of almost decadent musk melon and pineapple with an invigorating bite of cress and huckleberry. The combination of exuberant juiciness with mouthwatering salinity and strong stony minerality are rare for the vintage and almost entirely belie this wine’s 14.2% alcohol. In usual fashion, this will probably not be released for several years, but while I expect it will be well worth following for at least a decade and might gain in complexity, I still think it would be a shame not to enjoy some of it – like most 2009s – in its youth. (Plus, its alcohol might catch up with it.)
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Additional Information on Josmeyer Grand Cru Hengst Riesling 2009

Winery Josmeyer

Vintage: 2009

Despite less than ideal climatic conditions, featuring storms which threatened an otherwise perfect year, most parts of California had an excellent year for viticulture. Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs were picked at optimum ripeness, and Californian white wine was just about as good as it could be. Surprises and overcoming difficulties summed up much of the United States' wine industry in 2009, and many of the results from Oregon, Washington State and all over California speak for themselves, with the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon grapes having developed healthy, thick skins and thus plenty of character and distinction. Elsewhere in the New World, South Africa had a very good year in 2009, and wineries across the cape of the African continent are proclaiming it a truly great vintage. In most of Europe, fine weather and punctual ripening periods produced some excellent wines, with many of the best coming out of France's Bordeaux and the surrounding regions. Merlot had an exceptionally good year in France, and wineries are proclaiming that the 2009 Merlot harvest was one of the best in living memory. Indeed, across most of France, ripening was relatively even, and red wine grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Syrah and others were reportedly highly characterful, with plenty of the required tannin levels with which to make high quality wines. Italy, too, had a very good 2009. Piedmont reported extremely favorable conditions throughout 2009, and their signature Nebbiolo grapes were more or less perfect when harvested, having benefited from the slight drop in temperature at the end of their ripening period. Veneto, too, had an enviable year, producing superb Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay wines in 2009.

Varietal: Riesling

Riesling grapes are very rarely blended with others in the development of wines, and for good reason. These pale grapes which originated in the cool Rhine Valley of Germany are notable for their 'transparency' of flavor, which allows the characteristics of their terroir to shine through in wonderful ways. The result of this is a wine which carries a wide range of interesting flavors quite unlike those found in other white wines, finished off with the distinctively floral perfume Riesling supplies so well. Many wineries in Germany and elsewhere tend to harvest their Riesling grapes very late – often as late as January – in order to make the most of their natural sweetness. Other methods, such as encouraging the noble rot fungus, help the Riesling grape varietal present some truly unique and exciting flavors in the glass, and the variety of wines this varietal can produce mean it is one of the finest and most interesting available anywhere.

Region: Alsace

Step into any good wine store, and you'll easily be able to recognize the Alsatian wines, due to their slender, Germanic bottles which contain wines made from one or more of the grapes native to the region. The wines of Alsace are well known around the world, and for centuries they have been renowned for their quality and fascinating features. The grapes allowed to be used in Alsace wines are carefully overseen by the French government, and only nine different fine varietals are permitted to be grown within the vineyards of Alsace. Most commonly, wineries process Pinot Noir and Riesling varietal grapes for their wines, although it is also common to see a blend of other Germanic and French native grapes listed on the bottles.

Country: France

Year in, year out, France enjoys its prestigious reputation as the producer of the finest wines in the world. With a wine making history which spans several thousand years and owes its expertise to the Romans, it comes as little surprise that this most highly esteemed of the Old World wine countries continues to impress and enchant both novices and experts to this day. Despite the rise in quality of wines from neighboring European countries, not to mention the New World, the French wine industry continues to boom, with up to eight billion bottles being produced in recent years. However, France prides itself on always putting quality before quantity, and the wide range in fine produce is a testament to the dedication and knowledge of the wineries across the country. Indeed, from rich and complex reds to light and aromatic white wines, French wines are as varied and interesting as they are enjoyable to drink, making this country a firm favorite for wine lovers across the globe.