Long-Lived Mosel Riesling Showing No Signs of Slowing Down

Today’s Story: Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm

Joh. Jos. Prüm, situated in the village of Wehlen on the banks of the Mosel in Germany, is one of the most highly-regarded wine estates in the region and perhaps all of Germany. Though the Prüm family lived in Wehlen back to the year 1156, the estate as we know it today started to take shape during the 1800s under Sebastian Alois Prüm. Joh. Jos. Prüm itself, however, was established in 1911 when Johann Josef Prüm received part of the family estate which was split between him and his siblings. Joh. Jos. Prüm wasn’t in the greatest of health when his son Sebastian took over in 1920, and it again passed to Sebastian’s son Dr. Manfred Prüm in 1969. Joh. Jos. Prüm remains a family estate to this day, as Manfred’s oldest daughter Katharina now runs the show with minimal but ready input from her father.

The Joh. Jos. Prüm estate consists of about 14 hectares (35 acres) of vineyards, with important holdings in Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, and Bernkasteler Badstube. The Prüms exclusively produce Riesling in a range of styles, and an amazing 70% of their vines are ungrafted. The winemaking style here is rather traditional and harvest occurs on the later-end, ultimately resulting in wines that are delicate and restrained yet incredibly long-lived. Annual production typically hovers around 13,000 cases, and these are highly prized and collectible wines once they hit substantial levels of bottle age.

Today’s Wine: 2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel

100% Riesling; 7% ABV

The 2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel is medium gold in color. The aromas are gorgeous and of pronounced intensity, with the nose showcasing apricot, peach, yellow apple, pear, honeysuckle, petrol, dried herbs, and slate. Flavors are also of pronounced intensity, and the palate displays notes of mango, peach, apricot, dried pineapple, chamomile, honey, vanilla cream, almond, and saline mineral. This sweet Riesling is medium- to full-bodied with high acidity, low alcohol, and a long finish. Outstanding bottle of wine that has at least 10 years left to improve and probably another decade after to drink.

Price: $120 (I got it for $75). This actually offers very, very solid value given the age, intensity, balance, and length of the wine. It’s an absolutely beautiful bottle, and I got it for a steal of a price.

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