The 2015 vintage is a major vintage for the Mosel. Unsurprisingly, Joh. Jos. Prüm landed one of its best vintages ever, with a Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett to die for.
Few vintages have been as hyped as 2015 and there is some truth in it. 2015 yielded some stunning wines, and this in all stylistic directions.
But not everything that shines is gold. At its heart, 2015 is a ripe vintage, pepped up by glorious zest, with many wines on the powerful side. Only the very best wines will turn into classics in a decade or two.
Unsurprisingly, the mythical lightness and elegance of the Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm proved a triumph in 2015 and the Estate produced a stunning collection of wines, with a Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett to die for.
Ask any wine lover to name the Estate which epitomizes Mosel elegance best and chances are high that the name Joh. Jos. Prüm will fall, and this for good reasons. Playful elegance has been the “raison d’être” of the historic Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm.
Ask Katharina or Manfred Prüm about their “secret,” and they will (rightfully) put forward their old vines in some of the finest terroirs of the Mosel, their late harvesting and long fermentations with ambient yeasts.
These are certainly some of the factors which play a role. But we believe other factors are equally important in the continued success and elegance of “JJ” wines.
First of all, the Estate does not over-declassify: If a vintage does not render itself for a stylistic direction, it simply does not produce that wine. For instance, in 2013, their fruit was quite ripe and partially affected by botrytis. The Estate simply decided to not produce any Kabinett and made only one Spätlese.
Possibly more importantly, the Estate does not seek abnormally low yields. This has been a key factor for its wines to retain their legendary inner playfulness. That the wines nevertheless show stunning depth is a tribute to the old un-grafted vines and quality of the underlying terroir (the Estate does almost only own vineyards in "Grand Cru" sectors of the Mosel).
Over the years, the combination of the above has yielded stunningly elegant and age-worthy wines which have delighted wine lovers the world over.
One may debate which of the above factors was decisive in 2015 (we suspect all!). The fact is that this unique “JJ Prüm” hand at Mosel Riesling proved a stunning success in 2015, as the Estate was able to retain great playfulness and to “use” the underlying ripeness in the vintage to only add a delicate smoothness to its wines.
As Katharina Prüm explained in our discussions over her 2015 vintage, the vintage was not a foregone conclusion, on the contrary: “We never had such a vintage. At one moment early September, I expected a ripe vintage with high sugar levels and modest acidity. But the contrary happened: Sugar levels remained moderate and acidities did not tumble during the harvest. As a result, we were able to harvest great Kabinett grapes at around 85° Oechsle.”
The result has been truly astonishing. The blue slate terroir of the Wehlener Sonnenuhr came through, adding a touch of flowery elegance to the wines. In particular, this worked its magic on the 2015er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett, which is a jewel of playful elegance and finesse (even if the wine is still quite rough on the edges at this early stage).
Overall, the 2015 vintage proves a major success at this Estate on par with the 2006 (in a different, fully botrytized style) and the legendary 2001 vintages. The wines are THAT impressive. Great Estates deliver in great vintages. The Joh. Jos. Prüm Estate certainly did that in 2015!
The show-stopping 2015 collection by Joh. Jos. Prüm was reviewed in Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 32 (Oct 2016). You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy. You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Joh. Jos. Prüm
Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
This little jewel of a Kabinett immediately captures one’s attention as elegant scents of white flowers, herbs, smoke and cassis emerge from the glass. The wine is beautifully elegant and fresh as mint, herbs, white flowers and more fruits hit the palate. The wine remains stunningly precise right into the incredibly long, clean and juicy finish. The sense of focus which runs through the whole wine is simply mind-boggling as it adds intensity and precision to already airy flavors. What an absolute beauty made in a true Kabinett style! 2025-2040+
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.