‘Behind every beautiful thing, there’s been some kind of pain’. In 2019, a lot of German winegrowers could relate to this line from Bob Dylan. It was a rollercoaster ride in which winemakers faced everything from frost in May (after an early spring), to record heat and drought in summer (less in the middle Mosel), with a good dollop of rain at harvest. Yet there are only smiles as the wines are shining, making it easy to forget the hardship. 2019 is described by the Mosel Fine Wine guys as ‘an epic vintage in the making … at the top!’. And it is, without doubt, true that Prüm makes wines at the top. Perhaps the only disappointment is small yields (30-50% down on 2018 with the early harvested kabinett style most affected). The wines are characterised by density, juicy fruit with zesty freshness…..frankly, everything that enthrals about Mosel Riesling in a great vintage.
The best examples in 2019 are, once again, the drier styles of Kabinett and Spätlese.
We feel extremely lucky to get a direct allocation of the beautiful wines from Katharina Prüm. These wines are the apotheosis of Mosel. Prüm’s history is closely intertwined with the Mosel. The Domaine started in 1911 when Johan Josef Prüm bought the estate, but it was his ancestor Jadocus Prüm, who built the famous sundial in Wehlen in 1842 as well as the one in Zeltingen. Katharina is the 5th generation of the family to run the estate, following the same viticultural philosophy and tending to the back-breaking vertiginous vineyards. When we tasted the wines on Wednesday, there wasn’t a drop of disappointment. We were blown away by the beautifully chiselled fruit, which slowly unfolds to show the exuberance of the rich vintage, yet still maintains the delicate airiness and balance of classic Mosel Riesling.
For our offer, we have focused on two of our favourite vineyards: the famous Wehlener Sonnenuhr and its neighbour Graacher Himmelreich, which has an uncanny ability to outperform in warm vintages.
Located opposite the family house, this vineyard is the jewel in the crown. It is named after the world’s most famous sundial, located in the centre of the vineyard that was built by Jacodus Prum. With a gradient up to 70°, an average vine-age of 50-80 years and with many rare ungrafted vines, it is little wonder that the family are so passionate about this vineyard.
2019 Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling, Kabinett, JJ Prüm
£110 per 6 bottle case IB
£125 per 3 magnums IB
2019 Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling, Spätlese, JJ Prüm
£130 per 6 bottle case IB
£150 per 3 magnums IB
2019 Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling, Auslese, JJ Prüm
£155 per 6 bottle case IB
£175 per 3 magnums IB
2019 Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling, Auslese, Goldkap, JJ Prüm
£340 per 6 bottle case IB
£360 per 3 magnums IB
Graacher Himmelreich may often be considered the smaller sibling of Wehlener Sonnenuhr (which it borders), yet is a vineyard blessed by the heavenly powers to overperform in warmer vintages. The combination of south-west exposure and deep soil that act as a water reservoir are its good fortune in a vintage like 2019.
2019 Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling, Kabinett, JJ Prüm
£90 per 6 bottle case IB
£105 per 3 magnums IB
2019 Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling, Spätlese, JJ Prüm
£115 per 6 bottle case IB
£135 per 3 magnums IB
2019 Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling, Auslese, JJ Prüm
£135 per 6 bottle case IB
£155 per 3 magnums IB
2019 Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling, Auslese, Goldkap, JJ Prüm
£305 per 6 bottle case IB
£325 per 3 magnums IB