Gault Millau 2009: High Praise for Schloss Johannisberg
2007 Vintage Wins Honorary Title Collection of the Year
"Now the former lustre is coming back is how Gault Millaus editorial board lauded the outstanding wines of the tradition-steeped Rheingau estate Schloss Johannisberg, whose 2007 vintage was awarded the honorary title Collection of the Year in the 2009 edition of the most important and highly influential German wine guide.
Schloss Johannisberg, the first Riesling wine estate in the world, has continually enriched its wine culture with delightful discoveries since its founding in 1130. This is where the Spätlese (late harvest), the Auslese, the Beeren- and Trockenbeerenauslese as well as Eiswein (ice wine) were invented. This tradition is now celebrating its highly successful renaissance under domain director Christian Witte and head winemaker Hans Kessler - from Erstes Gewächs (first growth) to Trockenbeerenauslese.
Four wines from the 2007 vintage have already landed on the top ten list in the categories of dry Riesling (Schloss Johannisberg Silberlack [silver seal]: 93 points), Riesling Spätlese (Schloss Johannisberg Grünlack [green seal]: 93 points), Riesling Auslese (Schloss Johannisberg Rosalack [pink seal]: 94 points) and Edelsüß (Schloss Johannisberg Goldlack [gold seal]: 97 points). "The classic, fruity Spätlese exudes a highly elegant character, the Auslese melts in your mouth and the Beeren- and Trockenbeerenauslese have all the fine qualities that made German elite wines so unique on the planet in the first place, enthused Gault Millau. "This showing was so convincing that it immediately snapped up the title Collection of the Year, is how editor in chief, Armin Diehl, himself a passionate vintner, explained the conferral of the top award and the promotion of the estate to four grapes (Gault Millaus ranking system for the best wineries uses zero to five grapes).
This prestigious title, which removes any doubt that the Johannisberg team is playing in Germanys top league, is merely the most recent in the long line of awards that casts a continual spotlight on Johannisbergs Rieslings. Top awards in international wine magazines, high Parker point totals as well as numerous medals in competitions at home and abroad bear witness to the recognition that Schloss Johannisberg wines garner all over the world.
To cite just a few important votes of confidence: last years Gault Millau guide bestowed the Erstes Gewächs of the 2006 vintage with 92 points, ranking it among the three best dry Rieslings in Germany. At the Japan Wine Challenge 2007, Asias most important wine competition, the Schloss Johannisberg wine estates won six times, always in the highest categories. Among other things, the wine estate was recognised for having the best German wine and was awarded the title Best White Winemaker 2007 for overall performance. Wine & Spirits magazine named Schloss Johannisberg the International Winery of the Year and the 2006 Trockenbeerenauslese was voted one of the 100 best wines in the world. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2008, the Internet magazine Wein-Plus.de honoured the wine estate as the Collection of the Year (2006 vintage) - an appraisal that has now been confirmed in the current edition of Gault Millau. However, Schloss Johannisberg is not content to rest upon its laurels; as Gustav Mahler observed a long time ago, "Tradition is the preservation of the fire and not the worship of ashes.
Along with the wine estate G.H. von Mumm, Schloss Johannisberg forms the Schloss Johannisberg Wine Estates (Weingüterverwaltung), the largest private vineyard holdings in the Rheingau. The current Gault Millau considers the Mumm wine estate to be a rising star: the estates delicately fruity 2007 Johannisberger Mittelhölle Riesling Spätlese was awarded 90 points, bringing the estate its second grape.
It seems to be a rule: whatever grows on the Schloss Johannisberg vineyards or is produced in its cellars is among the crème de la crème and very likely to win prestigious prizes. For example, Fürst von Metternich Brut Vintage 2005, which is exclusively made of lively Riesling wines from the Fürst von Metternichschen Domäne Schloss Johannisberg, won the international prize for the worlds best sparkling wine at the Mallorcan wine awards La Seleccin. Fürst von Metternich Sparkling Wine Rosé, which matures in the Johannisberg wine cellars, won the same award, and Fürst von Metternich Riesling Sparkling Wine Dry, also crafted in the Johannisberg cellars, was given the grade of excellent at the international wine competition MUNDUSvini 2007. It goes without saying that these accolades are also being toasted at Schloss Johannisberg