JJ Prum Goldkapsel

Last Thursday I headed into the recently opened QT Sydney Hotel and its Gowings Bar & Grill in order to attend the annual Joh. Jos. Prüm frühstück, a breakfast tasting hosted by the Australian wine importer Bibendum. On this occasion the wines tasted were from 2011, a year in which the winery celebrates its 100th vintage.

The majority of the wines that are brought into Australia were shown at this event, from the estate Kabinett to the four Auslese Goldkapsel. There was also an minuscule amount of Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese from 2011, but these will be released at a later point in the future.

J.J. Prum is one of my favourite Mosel based wineries, which is probably not a controversial opinion given the respect they hold worldwide. I’ve tasted many of their wines with some age, including all the way back to a 1964 Wehlener Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese late last year, and can confirm that their aging potential is not in any way over stated as the 1964 seemed like it could hold for another 10 years at least and other older wines have seemed to be on similar trajectories.

There is also a perception that wines from J.J. Prum are totally unapproachable when young. This is something I’ve heard repeated over and over again but this tasting went a long way to changing my mind, at least for this vintage. The majority of the wines were open and in many cases were outright delicious to drink right away while still showing that they have enormous potential.

Overall the wines were extremely impressive, with great finesse and a purity of fruit that I view as critical for top level German Riesling. While it isn’t possible to judge a vintage on the results of one producer and a few vineyards, this was clearly yet another very successful year for J.J. Prum, and I’m looking forward to trying some of the other Mosel producers 2011s that are coming into Australia in the next few months.

Kabinett

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling Kabinett -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Lemon, lime, peach and a tinge of earth on the nose. The palate continues the ripe peach character and has medium carry. Pretty tasty wine, though it doesn’t show a great deal of drive or acid structure. Drink over the next five or six years. 87/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Immediately appealing aromas – with wild floral perfume, spice, pineapple and peaches. The acidity takes an obvious step up from the standard Prum Kabinett, and as a result there seems to be more drive and persistence. Compared to the 2011 Graacher Himmelreich and Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinetts it doesn’t have the same level of purity or richness, but there is plenty to like here. 89/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    The minerality on the nose is impressive – it is steely, flinty and very slate driven, with some light spice and pear aromas. The purity across the palate is pervasive, with the minerality dominating and giving great lift and freshness to the wine. Racy acidity provides excellent precision and balances the flirtatious sweetness with ease. Excellent showing for this wine and it has great potential to improve. 91/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    There is a floral element to the nose, but it is less wild and more restrained than the 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube – there is also peach, pear and apricot coming through. The richest and most intense of the four Kabinett in this flight on the palate, it has the necessary acidity to carry the wine and give it structure. A touch more focus would take this to the next level for me but it is delicious to drink already and should also improve given time. 90/100

Spatlese

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Musk, graphite and florals that came through increasingly with time in the glass. There is good richness and acidity, both are a level up on the Kabinett from the same vineyard and vintage, but it suffers a bit from not having much depth to the fruit. 88/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Pear, spices, an earthy note and some light herbs. Very good balance between acidity and sweetness, with fine focus as well. Nice purity and intensity to the fruit which lingers on the palate. More interesting than the Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese and competes with the high quality of the next two wines. 90/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Lemon, light white florals, smoke and the same minerality with flint and slate that I found on the Kabinett. Truly delicious palate that offers beautiful purity and is superbly balanced with the acidity providing a vibrant framework. This is light on its feet but still has excellent depth and length. Kept improving in the glass during the short time I could spend with it. 92/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Apple pie, peach, apricot and a light layer of slate on the nose. The palate is densely weighted with ripe fruit but again the acidity rises to the challenge and balance is found if not quite having the outright finesse of some of the other wines right now. Likely to be worthy and in need of a bit more time than the Kabinett. 90/100

Auslese

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Wild florals, ginger, lime and light honey aromas. The excellent core of acidity stands out with lovely sweet fruit consistent across the length. There is sugar sweetness too but it is intertwined with the other elements and doesn’t feel at all out of place. Good for drinking now and should develop well over the medium term. 90/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    This was probably the most tightly wound 2011 Prum at this tasting. The nose has some lemon, apple and pear, and it opened up a little bit in the glass but is still aromatically reserved. A delicate palate with great acidity, the depth and structure is suitably impressive that I am sure it will emerge from its shell and start to delight, but it needs time and the conservative score reflects that. 90/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    This was the first flight where the Wehlener Sonnenuhr powered ahead of the Graacher Himmelreich for me. The nose is vivid with apricot, lemon zest, apples, honey and subtle smoke. The finesse on the palate is stunning, beautifully ripe fruit is precisely guided by wonderful acidity. It is easy to be immediately enamoured with this wine but there is underlying depth and complexity to it as well. Immensely classy wine with a very long future ahead. 93/100

Auslese Goldkapsel

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Intense and exotic aromas showing ginger, sea spray, graphite, pineapple and apricot. The palate is similarly intense but the balance is spot on thanks to a wave of cleansing acidity that lifts and drives into a long finish. There is a serious ramping up of the deliciousness over the Auslese thanks to the botrytis characters shining through. Excellent and a clear favourite for me from the Bernkasteler Badstube in this vintage. 92/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    The botrytis stands out on the nose and lends it an exotic flare, it is supported by honey, smoke and passion fruit characters. The palate is very punchy and forceful, the botrytis again showing through and quite a bit of residual sugar as well. I actually found it to lean a bit too far towards being over-opulent and not quite having the acidity to finish entirely cleanly. It’s still very good, but just falls a bit behind the other 2011 Prum Auslese GK at this stage. 90/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    A floral nose with grapefruit, apricot, lemon and smoke, it was much more open than the Graacher Himmelreich Auslese at this point. The palate truly shines with astonishingly pure fruit and an extraordinary frame of acidity. Textured and deliciously long, this really soared in the glass and I imagine it will be an even more stunning wine given time. I found it hard to split this and the Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, but it is exceptional in any context. 94/100

  • 2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel -
    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    A compellingly layered nose – there is peach, honey, apricot, quince and botrytis influence. The palate is breathtaking in its purity and balance, it is wonderfully textured and the ripe fruit is ever-present but never out of control thanks to the crackling acidity. A wondrous wine and a fitting end to this tasting of the 100th vintage from J.J. Prum. 94/100

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. […] importer for these wines (Bibendum Wine Co.) at Mr Wong restaurant in Sydney. As mentioned in my writeup of the 2011 range, I adore the wines of JJ Prum and they are one of my favourite wineries in the Mosel, so while I […]

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