wines of Karl H. Johner and Johner Estate
One family, two wineries, in Baden Germany and Wairarapa, New
Johner family make wines in Baden, Germany, on their 18 hectare
estate on the western side of the Kaiserstuhl. The domaine isn’t
an ancient one, but was actually founded in the mid 1980s by Karl
Heinz Johner, who the winery is named after. They attracted some
controversy by their use of oak barrels for all the wines,
experimenting with must concentration, and eschewing the usual
German wine classification.
1998 Karl Heniz Johner also started working in the Wairarapa region
of New Zealand. Initially there was a partnership with Kai Schubert,
but they pulled out and started again in 2000 with Johner Estate,
based on 12 hectares of vineyards in the Gladstone sub region. First
release was 2002.
Heniz Johner now spends most of his time in New Zealand, leaving his
son Patrick Johner (pictured above), who I tasted with, to
run the German operation.
Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Gladstone, New Zealand
Quite a rich style with ripe, bold, intense fruit. A bit
tropical with nice texture and ripness. Rounded finish, quite sweet.
Pinot Noir 2008 Gladstone, New Zealand
Sweet, expressive bright cherry fruit here with some richness
and a hint of meaty savouriness. Very appealing, with sweet fruit
and some complexity. 91/100
Cabernet Merlot ‘Lyndor’ 2008 Wairarapa, New Zealand
From a 26 year old vineyard near Masterton. Very ripe, sweet,
appealing berry and black fruits nose with a hint of blackberry jam.
The palate is sweet, pure and berryish with lovely concentration and
a spicy, savoury edge. Nice sweetness here: delicious. 93/100
H. Johner Rivaner 2009 Baden, Germany
Crisp with nice focus, showing well balanced pear and apple
fruit. Very appealing and well balanced. 88/100
H. Johner Grauer Burgunder 2009 Baden
Fresh, textured white with some spicy notes and a hint of herbs.
Rich and grapey, but finishing dry with lots of appeal. 89/100
H. Johner Weiss Burgunder/Chardonnay 2008 Baden
Bright and quite nutty with rounded, honeyed character.
Expressive and elegant with a nutty
H. Johner Chardonnay 2007 Baden
Attractive, open and herby with apples and nuts, as well as
subtle greenness. The palate is dense and nutty with herbiness and
sweet appley fruit. 87/100
H. Johner Grauer Burgunder 2008 Baden
Complex, grapey, melony fruit here with nice texture, a bit of
fleshiness and subtle spicy notes. Very attractive. 90/100
H. Johner Spätburgunder Kaiserstuhl 2007 Baden
Sweet herb and cherry nose with some berry fruits too. The
palate is ripe, quite dense, sweet and rounded with cherry and berry
fruit. Finishes slightly herby. 87/100
H. Johner Blauer Spätburgunder 2007 Baden
Quite dense and spicy with sweet, fresh, rounded berry fruits.
Mellow smoohness here with lovely expressive fruit. 90/100
H. Johner Pinot Noir Birchoffinger Steinbuck 2006 Baden
From new clones planted in 1999 and 2001. Smooth, sweet, pure,
elegant cherry and berry fruit with nice savoury, herby, spicy
notes. Quite lush but still elegant. A lovely ripe style. 92/100
H. Johner Blauer Spätburgunder ‘SJ’ 2005 Baden
From a single, 30 year old vineyard planted with German clones
(which go for high yields). Herbs, tar, spice and cherry fruit on
the nose. The palate is dense and berryish with nice spicy notes as
well as hints of earth. Dense, savoury and full of intensity. 92/100
H. Johner Gewürztraminer Spätlese Bischoffinger Steinbuck 2009
Planted in 2004. 30 g/l rs. Complex, off-dry white with lovely
texture and notes of grape and lychee, as well as herbs and spice.
Lovely balance and intensity here: a delicious wine. 93/100
H. Johner Saint-Patrick Beerenauslese 2008 Baden
A blend of Pinot Gris, Auxerrois and Gewürztraminer. 9%
alcohol. Golden colour. Viscous and intense with sweet apricot,
melon, apple fruit and a herby twist. Viscous, very sweet and
Germany's wine regions
the Wairarapa/Martinborough, New Zealand
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