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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

The pale skinned fruits of the Riesling grapevine have been grown in and around Germany's Rhine Valley for centuries, and contributed much to the country's wine culture. Today, Riesling grapes are grown and processed in several countries around the world, where they are prized for their ability to grow well in colder climates, and their unique flavors and characteristics. Riesling grapes produce an impressive array of wines, including fine semi sweet and dessert wines, to excellent dry white wines and sparkling varieties, all which allow the grape to shine through as a premier example of an excellent white wine varietal. One of the things which makes Riesling such a special grape is the fact that it is highly 'terroir expressive', meaning that the features of the land it is grown on can come across well in the flavors and aromas in the wine. As such, it isn't unusual to find flavors of white stone, or smoky ash-like notes in a fine Riesling alongside the more usual orchard fruit flavors more commonly associated with good white wines.

Region: Alsace

Alsace is a particularly fascinating region of France when it comes to wine and wine culture. The long, slender Germanic style bottles we often see coming out of Alsatian wineries have become iconic of the region's wine industry, and for centuries, such bottles have been the favorites of the crowned heads of Europe. Riesling and Gewurztraminer have always been the two primary grapes of Alsace, however, there are nine different varietals permitted by French law, most of them being used to make white wine. Alsace produces over a hundred million liters of wine per year, which are exported across the globe and enjoyed by people seeking a fine wine offering something a little different. As such, Alsace is an important global wine producing region, with a character and set of flavors and features which are all its own.

Country: France

France is renowned across the globe for its quality wines and the careful expertise which goes into making them, but what is truly remarkable about this relatively small country is the vast range of wines it produces in such huge amounts each year. Not only are the finest red wines in the world said to come from the beautiful regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, but elsewhere in the country we find the Champagne region, and areas such as the Rhone Valley and the Loire, whose white wines consistently receive awards and accolades by the plenty. This range is a result of the great variety of climatic conditions and terrain found in France, coupled with generations of wine makers working within single appellations. Their knowledge of specific terroirs and grape varieties has, over time, perfected the production of wines within their region, and the end results continue to impress the world to this day.