Looking across the Mosel towards the (south-west facing) Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard, the Prüm estate has, as its base, an impressive but somewhat foreboding building in Bernkastel-Kues. But a warm, welcoming atmosphere emanates from the place as a smiling Katharina Prüm hauls open the heavy door, small children scrambling at her feet. The tableau is indicative of an historic estate that is, nonetheless, full of energy and ambition for the future.

That energy was required in 2021, an extremely challenging vintage throughout Germany owing to record rainfall and the ensuing risk of rot, soil erosion and even flooded cellars. With this in mind we approached the ’21 vintage with expectations tempered, yet it has emerged – for Kabinett in particular – as one of the finest and most sought-after in recent memory. Katharina describes her 2021s as, ‘wines full of energy and leanness that might not be early charmers, but will reward patience… We very much look forward to the cooler style of the 2021s, which we consider as a welcome alternation to the previous vintages.’

Paula Sidore (correspondent for jancisrobinson.com) has been more effusive, describing the vintage as ‘electric, thrilling, captivating’ in an article aptly titled ‘The Mosel’s moment to shine.’ Being a short, inconsistent vintage for so many fine wine regions across Europe, 2021 is indeed the perfect opportunity to renew or begin one’s love affair with German Riesling – at their best, these are among the most complex, site-expressive and age-worthy whites produced anywhere on the planet. And JJ Prüm is not merely in the top tier; it’s the Bayern Munich of German estates.

There was a tremendous buzz around the Prüm lots at September’s Grosser Ring auction. For the first time, Katharina elected to offer a Kabinett rather than a higher Prädikat level-wine – another testament to the quality of Kabinett in ’21. Its hammer price of an extraordinary 405€ per bottle set a new record for Kabinett at the auction; and makes today’s release price of £150 per 6 bottle case look exceptionally good value (which it is by any measure)!

Our direct position with the JJ Prüm estate is a source of great pride to Stannary. The wines offered today were bottled between June and August and will be collected from the estate (in a temperature-controlled vehicle) in the coming fortnight. Across the range, volumes are limited, so please register your interest as soon possible with a member of the team.

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The 2021 vintage

2021 saw flooding so severe it destroyed many cellars in the Ahr region. The Mosel recorded an extraordinary 130% above average rainfall fell in the month of July, causing soil erosion and necessitating extra woman hours in the vineyards. Harvest began late (October 11th at Prüm), taking place in good conditions. Yields were much lower than in 2020; there was limited botrytis and the highest concentration level reached at most estates was Auslese. Despite these challenges, top producers are quietly delighted with the resulting wines.

All pictures © Andreas Durst