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Riesling Report: Schloss Johannisberger 2009 Riesling Sp├Ątlese

July is riesling month! We're drinking it all month long...and maybe longer. Got a favorite riesling? Recommend it in the comments!

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Here's how the story goes: the year was 1775. A messenger was sent to the owner of Schloss Johannisberg (the prince-abbot of Fulda) to get permission to harvest the grapes. The messenger was delayed by several weeks, and by the time he returned, the grapes were affected with noble rot. But the resulting wine was surprisingly delicious, and the winery began to experiment with late harvest dates.

Lilting acids and hints of orange zest keep this wine bright and clear, despite pineapple and mango-like richness, notes of dripping-ripe melons, peaches, and apricots left on the counter too long. Apple-peel and shale-like minerality add dimension.

The sweetness here is less like honey and more like the vanilla-imbued poaching liquid from pears; it's luxurious but not too heavy, perfect for pairing with chalky or lightly bloomy cheeses. It could probably handle a coconut-milk based Thai curry, too.

$30 to $40, sample provided for review.

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