The secret to the quality of the J.J. Prum wines lies mostly in the vineyards, backed up by wine making of the highest order. In the Wehlener Sonnenuhr the Prüms own a portion of one of the Mittel Mosel’s top vineyards. Its steep south-facing dark slate slopes result in deeply flavoured, mineral yet rich and smoky wines. In addition, they own plots to the North in Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr where the vines are said to be the hardest working and produce wines of intensity and structure. Next door is Graacher Himmelreich which produces animated and engaging wines, with fresh acidities and plenty of energy. The vineyards of Bernkasteler Badstube sit to the south of Graacher Himmelreich, where the slopes are on a marginally shallower gradient, and the soils are deeper. The more westerly orientation allows the vines a longer exposure to the afternoon sun.The result is a typically lighter, highly approachable wine with wonderful delicacy and florals, red fruit notes and plenty of vibrant freshness on the finish.
The lightest, most crisp, and least sweet Riesling’s of the range are those labelled Kabinett, and they’re awesome this year! “Classic Kabinett, with slightly more intensity,” is how Katharina Prüm rates her 2018 Kabinetts. All the wines are delicious and the wines taste and finish remarkably dry.
As always there is considerably more weight and intensity here than in the Kabinett level wines. While certainly they are sweeter than the Kabinett’s there’s also more power, fruit, and complexity, and therefore wines that can stand up to richer food. Here again, we have excellent transparency and expression of place, alongside more savoury depth. 2018 is a superb Spätlese vintage.
Again, the step up from Spatlese to Auslese is one of ripeness, complexity and more intensity, rather than simply a dial-up on sweetness. The style remains ultra-pure and ultra-fine and, while the Spätlese wines revel in juicy intensity, this bracket offers more flesh and pulpy depth as well as heightened mineral length.