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J.J Prum 2015 Offer

"Few estates in the world can claim to have maintained the highest quality standards uninterrupted for half a century and more.  Joh Jos Prüm, the most famous of the many Mosel wine estates bearing the Prüm name, is one estate that can.  Since the early 1920's its wines have been among Germany's best, Rieslings with the Mosel's vivacious aroma and racy elegance in its highest form."
Stuart Pigott, The Wine Atlas of Germany 


The Kabinetts are obviously the lightest bodied Rieslings and therefore the ones best matched with most delicate dishes. They are also the most racy and will develop the fastest, yet still live for decades! The Estate is a blend of Prüm vineyards and is almost dry; racy, pure and crunchy. All are delicious introductions to the vintage and to the J.J. Prüm estate, and all are for savoury foods only.  The Estate is a cracker for the price, pretty, bright and almost dry.  The Badstude is pretty red fruited and zesty. The Graacher citric and floral and the Wehlener the tightest, most mineral and meaty with some exotic fruit lurking. In other words, great expression of each vineyard's personality!

There is obviously more weight here than the Kabinett level wines, though not necessarily more overt sweetness. Rather it is a question of the wines having more power and therefore being able to stand up to richer food. Here again great clarity and expression of place, Again the Badstube is bright, pure and red fruited, the Zeltinger is a bomb, smoky, rocky and with an inky, dark cherry core. Totally different, more complex if a touch more rustic. Graacher is wonderfully classic and open - citrussy, sherbetty and floral -  while the Wehlener reflects the vintage with layered, exotic fruit, huge power for Spatlese level and steel acidity and structure. Powerful yet open.

Again the step up here is one of power rather than simply sweetness. Yes the residuals are higher, but so is the acidity. Riper, far more powerful and more intense, rather than simply more overtly sweet, is a more accurate way of describing what's going on here. These wines remain too fine for sweet desserts (although they can, almost, work with very delicate, fruit based desserts that are not too sweet). But not really. They are far better matched with a wide range of savoury dishes such as pork, game bird or spiced meats or equally savoury tarts, roast chicken, all kinds of sausage and venison. A wide range of Japanese and Chinese dishes work as well, as they do for all the pradikat levels. Terrific with a wide range of cheeses too. The style remains ultra pure and ultra fine. In 2015, these are truly wow wines. The Badstube is really lovely. Far darker fruits than the Spätlese with a core of blackcurrant jube and a vibrant close. The Zeltinger again stands out as torally unique, smokey, earthy, complex with an extract rich, rocky close. The Graacher is open for business with juicy, layered, stone fruited palate with a finish that is clean and racy. The Wehlener is again far more tightly wound and mineral now but there is exotic power lurking underneath.  

Auslese Goldkapsel
Again a significant step up in power. Katharina Prüm explains the Goldkapsel wines in this way: "Think of them as limited edition, rather small production lots of the best Auslese of a vintage. They are made from stronger selected grapes containing higher concentrated juice, usually affected by a certain amount of botrytis/noble rot, capable of aging even remarkably longer than "basic" Auslesen, lasting for many decades. In the course of time, they lose some of their sweetness, gain more and more elegance and harmony and the complex profile and depth come to the forefront." In short, these extraordinary wines live and evolve for eons. They can possibly work with appropriately matched desserts (ideally fruit based and again, ideally not very sweet at all). However, they are far better matched (especially with age) with powerful, savoury dishes and with hard cheeses. You can throw anything at them, red meat included. They are far more versatile than most dry whites and certainly more so than all red wine styles. These are, as the name clearly suggests, designated by a golden capsule. They are some of the most revered Rieslings on the planet.  Of the 2015's, the Graacher is simply beautiful, pure and vibrant and loaded with citrus peel and white floral notes. The Berkasteler Lay (Lay is a vineyard within the Badstube) is brilliant, classic jubey fruit, pure clean and long. And the Wehlener just kicks it up another level with incredible purity and depth and red peach delciousness. Three of the greatest young Golkaps I have tasted.

Bernkastel Badstube

The vineyards of the Bernkastel Badstube border those of the Graach Himmelreich. The Bernkastel Badstube slopes are on a marginally shallower gradient, with deeper soils than the Graach and Wehlener. The western orientation allows the vines longer exposure to the afternoon sun. The Badstube typically produces a wonderfully floral, delicate and mineral wine. Overall, the wines are usually slightly more delicate in taste than their siblings from the Graach Himmelreich and Wehlener Sonnenuhr.
Graach Himmelreich

The wines of the Graach Himmelreich often challenge those from the Wehlen Sonnenuhr, especially in hot, dry years. Coming from the latter's neighbouring vineyard upstream, they attract with their racy acidity, a pronounced minerality and slightly different fruit aromas and flavours. Often, the wines become accessible slightly earlier than the Wehlen Sonnenuhr and are deliciously mouth-watering. Looking at the vineyard conditions, the hill faces slightly more westwards, i.e. south-west exposed, a little less steep and possess deeper soils than the Wehlen Sonnenuhr which act as excellent water reservoirs.  The gradient varies from 45% - 65% and the soils - if you can call them soils - is deep weatherd Devoinain slate with parcels of blue slate.
Wehlen Sonnenuhr
The Wehlen Sonnenuhr vineyard has become intrinsically attached to the name of Joh. Jos. Prüm. The Estate owns five hectares of this majestic site - largely plated to ungrafted wines - which has very thin top soil over the purest blue slate of any Mosel vineyard (in some areas of the vineyard the plants grow out of pure rock). Riesling guru Stuart Pigott has written; "Joh Jos Prüm's Sonnenuhrs are classic examples of the way in which the best Mosel wine's natural sweetness magnifies, rather than obscures, their character. These are a perfect marriage of Riesling's peach-like, floral and mineral aspects. White wine cannot be fresher, more vivid and delightful." Wehlen Sonnenuhr has the highest pure stone content of the Prüm vineyards, and along with neigbouring Zelting Sonnenuhr is the steepest of Prüm's blue chip vineyards - a dizzying 65-70% gradient. It is also said that the frorest at the top on the vineyard acts a nautral water regulator.
Zelting Sonnenuhr

The Zelting Sonnenuhr vineyard borders the northern boundary of the Wehlen Sonnenuhr. It is a warmer site and also has a large percentage of ungrafted vines. Prüm's parcel comes from a patch of Alte Reben vines (60-70 year old) around the sundial. The vines here are also said to be the hardest working in the Prüm vineyards, due to the young slate's lower water-holding capacity (the vines have to work overtime to achieve the same levels of concentration as the other vineyards). Their efforts are greatly appreciated!