The 2020 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese (Gold Capsule) is incredibly clear and precise on the nose. If there was any botrytis here—and there was, otherwise you wouldn't get this concentration and delicate raisin aroma—it was perfect and came at the ideal moment. This is a quintessence of the Sonnenuhr; saying this makes me long for pure, freshly caught anchovies.
On the palate, this is a therapeutic, round, savoury and straightaway stimulating Auslese with so much vitality and savoriness. It finishes with a tight and sustainable mineral structure, making this an excellent vin de terroir that can be aged for decades. It is crystal clear and doesn't taste sweet due to its piquancy and salinity. This is the quintessence of the JJ Prüm style!
A fabulous wine that should not be opened for at least 15 years, although anyone would love to drink it now, except maybe Dr Manfred Prüm, who instead fell in love with the Lay Auslese for drinking now. 7.5% stated alcohol. Natural cork.
Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (July 2022)
About this WINE
Weingut Joh Jos Prum
Prüm is one of the finest estates in the Mosel. Founded by Johann Josef Prüm in 1911, the winery rapidly built a reputation for its racy, pure expressions of Riesling, grown on the extraordinarily steep, slate slopes in the heart of the Mosel. Today, the estate is run by Dr Katharina Prüm who watches over 13.5 hectares of vines – including some rare ungrafted vines.
The family’s holdings include many of the Mittelmosel’s most famous sites: Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich, Graacher Domprobst, Bernkasteler Lay, Bernkasteler Badstube and Bernkasteler Bratenhöfchen. Yields are low, with the harvest often stretching to late November. The winemaking is meticulous, but the extra effort is worth it. The resulting wines are known for their purity of fruit as well as their distinctive mineral character.
The Mosel wine region in Germany is renowned for its high-quality white wines, especially Riesling. Its unique terroir of steep slopes, slate soils, and cool climate contributes to the wines' distinctive character.
Riesling dominates the vineyard plantings, and the region follows a vineyard classification system based on ripeness levels. Historic vineyards, such as Erdener Prälat and Wehlener Sonnenuhr, produce exceptional wines.
The Mosel offers various styles, from crisp Kabinett and rich dessert wines. The region's wine culture is celebrated through multiple festivals, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.
Riesling's twin peaks are its intense perfume and its piercing crisp acidity which it manages to retain even at high ripeness levels.
In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings, yet it is responsible for all its greatest wines. It is planted widely on well-drained, south-facing slate-rich slopes, with the greatest wines coming from the best slopes in the best villages. It produces delicate, racy, nervy and stylish wines that cover a wide spectrum of flavours from steely and bone dry with beautifully scented fruits of apples,apricots, and sometimes peaches, through to the exotically sweet flavours of the great sweet wines.
It is also an important variety in Alsace where it produces slightly earthier, weightier and fuller wines than in Germany. The dry Rieslings can be austere and steely with hints of honey while the Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles are some of the greatest sweet wines in the world.
It is thanks to the New World that Riesling is enjoying a marked renaissance. In Australia the grape has developed a formidable reputation, delivering lime-sherbet fireworks amid the continental climate of Clare Valley an hour's drive north of Adelaide, while Barossa's Eden Valley is cooler still, producing restrained stony lime examples from the elevated granitic landscape; Tasmania is fast becoming their third Riesling mine, combining cool temperatures with high UV levels to deliver stunning prototypes.
New Zealand shares a similar climate, with Riesling and Pinot Gris neck to neck in their bid to be the next big thing after Sauvignon Blanc; perfectly suited is the South Island's Central Otago, with its granitic soils and continental climate, and the pebbly Brightwater area near Nelson. While Australia's Rieslings tend to be full-bodied & dry, the Kiwis are more inclined to be lighter bodied, more ethereal and sometimes off-dry; Alsace plays Mosel if you like.