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2022 Schloss Johannisberg: Latest releases

"A masterpiece of finesse, precision and balance, but even that doesn’t say the most important thing, which is the breathtaking leafy freshness and stony clarity at the stunningly long finish...99 points" - Stuart Piggott, for, on 2022 Spätlese 'Grünlack'.

The 2022 vintage has produced superb wines across Europe, including the Rheingau, where a hot summer and low rainfall produced small, concentrated berries with great intensity of flavour.  The historic Schloss Johannisberg produces some of the world's greatest rieslings and, once again, their latest releases are scoring highly, with James Suckling awarding 99 points to the Spätlese 'Grünlack'

In any vintage, Schloss Johannisberg's rieslings provide brilliant examples of the combination of power and finesse that characterizes Rheingau wines.  They pair wonderfully with a range of foods, including game, fish, and Asian-inspired dishes, and the late-harvest wines work beautifully with a variety of cheeses. 

Winemaking was first recorded at the estate in 1100 and the threads that connect it to European history through its illustrious ownership and role in shaping German winemaking as a whole are staggering. You can read a little about the history of the estate below.

The 2022 vintage started warm and dry with long sunshine hours and a lack of rain, in fact, it was the fourth sunniest spring since records began in 1890. The impact that this had on vine development was obvious however early bud break was not a problem and therefore they were able to avoid the risk of late frosts. Flowering was only a week earlier than the long-term average, however, fruit growth and development were delayed due to persistent heat over the summer. Luckily, rains came in mid-September, and by waiting for physiological ripeness, they were able to harvest exceptionally high-quality fruit. Unfortunately, the heat meant that no noble rot-influenced sweet wines were made, but overall yields were healthy.  Alongside the '22s, we offer 2021 'Silberlack'.

As ever, the wines will be in high demand, so please don't delay if you would like to secure your preferred wines.   

Offered en primeur, due to land December 2023

Schloss Johannisberg, Rheingau

Producer Profile

Schloss Johannisberg, Rheingau

Winemaking records at Schloss Johannisberg go back to 1100, when a basilica dedicated to St John the Baptist was built on the hill (hence 'Johannisberg'). Since 1720 the vineyards here have been planted with riesling, making this the world's oldest riesling vineyard.  Today, the estate has fifty hectares on a single hill. 

The estate created the Spätlese ('late-harvest) style in 1775 when a decree from then-owner Prince-Bishop Heinrich von Bibra allowing harvest to begin was inadvertently delayed (the legends vary, one version says he was away hunting, another version has it that the decree was delayed by highway men).  This was followed by the creation of Auslese in 1787 and Eiswein in 1858.

After changing hands several times during the Napoleonic Wars, the estate was given in 1816 to the Prince von Metternich, the Austrian statesman who was instrumental in creating the balance of power in nineteenth-century Europe. 

By the end of the Second World War, the 18th-century Schloss has been badly bombed.  Princess Tatiana von Metternich and her husband fled to the estate on a farm cart, escaping Russian invaders.  In 1974 the von Metternichs were forced to sell the estate to the rather more prosaic Oetker family, responsible for the Dr Oetker bakery brand, although Princess Tatiana resided at the Schloss until her death in 2005. 

Schloss Johannisberg's wines are labelled by colour (Gelblack = yellow, Grunlack = green etc), denoting their classification, from Qualitatswein to Eiswein.  This may seem quite a modern and refreshingly simple system, but in fact, the system pre-dates the German wine classification of 1971 and was even used as the basis for it.  'Schloss Johannisberg' is a single-vineyard designation, or Einzellagein its own right, meaning it does not need to show a village name on the label.

WHITE 2022 6 cases Schloss Johannisberg - Riesling Spatlese 'Grunlack' 75cl £210 per case of 6 Schloss Johannisberg
Riesling Spatlese 'Grunlack'
2022 / 6 cases / 75cl
£210 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"The nose of this Spatlese makes me think of 18th century engravings of pear and white peach varieties, but that only hints at the enveloping and astonishingly fine fruit that follows on the palate. A masterpiece of finesse, precision and balance, but even that doesn’t say the most important thing, which is the breathtaking leafy freshness and stony clarity at the stunningly long finish. When will it ever stop? From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. 99 points"

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