Well-Aged and Beautiful Spätlese From the Mosel

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.

I previously reviewed the 2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel from Joh. Jos. Prüm.

Today’s Wine: 2008 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

100% Riesling; 7.5% ABV

The 2008 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese is medium yellow in color. Given some time in the glass, the aromas blossom with pronounced intensity and the nose showcases notes of peach, golden pear, dried apricot, a pinch of lime zest, honeysuckle, a hint of petrol, mild underbrush, clay, and flint. Meanwhile the flavors are also of pronounced intensity and the palate displays notes of ripe pear, peach, nectarine, dried apricot, dried pineapple, white florals, slight petrol, and wet slate. There’s also a very interesting note of caramel at the very end that caught me by surprise. This medium-sweet Riesling is medium bodied with high acidity, low alcohol, and a long finish. Outstanding quality and incredibly well-balanced with the acidity and sweetness in perfect harmony.

Price: $70. This offers fairly decent value, particularly at this age. The wine is intense, solidly complex, and supremely balanced which makes for an incredible drinking experience. Will have to get more of this.

If this wine seems like something you might enjoy, you may find this link helpful in locating it.

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