TN: 1984 Kenwood Johannisberg Riesling Late Harvest Sonoma County

  • 1984 Kenwood Johannisberg Riesling Late Harvest Sonoma County - USA, California, Sonoma County (3/12/2016)
    This bottle had leaked previously in its life. Clear mahogany color. Good acidity but no sweetness to notice. It seems that much of the 8.6% RS at bottling had aged out and the rest was masked by the acidity. Hopefully this is an aberration with this bottle due to the prior leaking, as the color gives me hope that this can still be a good wine at this point. NR (flawed)

Posted from CellarTracker

I am confused. Are you saying that the residual sugars “aged out” by fermenting in the bottle?

John - That’s not a terribly high residual sugar level, so even without leakage, it may not be surprising if the sweetness and fruit are out of balance with the acidity after 30+ years.

I assume he means that the sugars have caramelized, or whatever it is they do chemically, that makes many sweet wines less sweet with age. Not secondary fermentation.

Good point John that the RS isn’t particularly high. I may decant the next one to see if air gives it any help.

And you’re right, I did mean what you said about sweet wines getting less sweet with age. I see it a lot with Sauternes of lesser years when they hit 40+.

And it certainly happens with German rieslings.

Rather surprised that this BA/TBA didn’t show any better. It should have shown much more RS, even at 20+ yrs of age. And should have
been black as a PX or creasote. Some of the Kenwood TBA’s I’ve had in the last few yrs have been quite good. But YMMV.

I opened the other four bottles of this wine and the results were vastly different. These bottles were exactly as I had expected originally. The color was a healthy dark brown. The wine was sweet on the palate, showing mostly crème brulee top with some apricot. There’s still a decent acidity to the wine, so it’s still in great shape. It paired well with seared foie gras.

Now that’s more like it!

So the good bottles were darker? That seem weird.

Yeah, kind of strange but it is what it is. They looked like a 60-80 year-old Sauternes. But flavors were great.

Is there much difference in the vintages of the these old CA dessert rieslings?

I’ve only had a couple of others within the past 18 months. Here are my notes for those, both of which I liked.

Dark shiny gold color, very much like a Sauternes of the same age. Sweet but with a good acid backbone to support it. Cream brulee top and apricots on the palate, also very much like a similar aged Sauternes. A fabulous wine with many years of life left. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

  • 1982 Freemark Abbey Johannisberg Riesling Edelwein Gold - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/10/2015)
    Sourced from a retailer that has had it stored from release in an excellent cellar. Very dark brown, almost completely opaque. Raisin and prune flavors dominate. It’s very similar in look and taste to a PX. The nose is dusty. Very sweet with some acidity on the finish that prevents it from being overly cloying. A 375ml bottle can definitely serve 5-6 people, as it’s hard to drink a lot. I liked it, and it paired nicely with a strawberry cobbler.

A second bottle was better than the first. Still very sweet, but with decent balancing acidity. It went really well with pecan pie. (88 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Cool examples of some underreported CA wines! Thanks for sharing!