TN ABC 1993 Reserve Chardonnay & 1975 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese
The 1993 Au Bon Climat, Estate Bottled, Santa Barbara County, Le Bouge
D'a cote, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Chardonnay was bought shortly after
release, stored properly, and there were no issues with fill or cork.
I have reported on this wine before, and it has always been near the
top. It is still holding very well and likely will do so until it is
20 or more years old. The regular ABC Chardonnays can be decent and in
fact a better selection if you are going to drink them too young. The
several reserves often require 10 years or more to peak. They are some
of the most reliable Chardonnays from California. Although some other
Chardonnays can equal or even top them in a few years, they seldom do
so on a regular basis. This wine has much the same structure of a top
Puligny-Montrachet, but a bit of grapefruit character and other slight
differences say it is not from Puligny-Montrachet. If consumed too
young, it perhaps has some of the character of a Corton Charlemagne,
more grapefruit character, and rather sharp acid.
The 1975 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese 1975, J.J. Prum, AP Nr.
2576511-2376 was bought shortly after release, was properly stored,
and had no cork issues. It is still holding quite well and likely will
do so for at least a few more years. The color is light yellow. It has
the expected fruity bouquet and taste, and there is enough acidity to
balance the sweetness. This does not have the nearly over-the-top
tropical fruit and honey character that many wines from the very ripe
1976 vintage have. The aged Riesling petrol character is quite
apparent, but very clean. I also have J.J. Prum's 1975 Wehlener
Sonnenuhr, which is a somewhat more famous wine. Although I have not
tasted these side by side, I would say the Graacher Himmelreich
suffers only very little on comparison. It perhaps is not quite as
complex and perhaps has more petrol character at this age. Of course
if you do not compare the same years all bets are off. It also would
not be fair to compare a Prum long gold capsule Wehlener Sonnenuhr
with this Graacher Himmelreich.
I have to admire your patience. Au Bon Climat estate bottled seldom
lasts more than 10-12 years at my house and I have to remind my wife
they are too young at 3-5 years as she will drink them very young if
friends come over and she is popping corks.