JJ Prum 2012 Riesling

This trade tasting was held by the Australian 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 probably have some bias towards this estate I also hold them to a very high standard due to my lofty expectations.

The 2012 vintage in general across Germany is one that I’ve heard mixed reports on, but based on this tasting I feel that this was a very successful year for JJ Prum, especially among the Spatlese and Auslese wines. These are wines that are immensely pure and bright with acidity is lifted a notch up over the 2011s – while they are utterly delicious now they will reward patience and I believe will develop into classics. As I mentioned elsewhere, the only downside to this tasting was that breakfast the next morning was exceptionally mundane in comparison!

Here are my tasting notes of the 2012 wines that were shown and a 2004 for comparison, as well as a couple of photos of the excellent food that was matched with each flight;

  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling Kabinett
    Initially there is a touch of funk but this backs away to show peach, lime and a light herbal note. Rounded mouthfeel via the off-dry level residual sugar and some luscious fruit, there is acidity present but it doesn’t assert itself as much as I would like it to. It does have some immediate appeal although the flavour does peter out slightly toward the finish. 87/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett
    Leaps out of the glass aromatically, I could smell it before lifting my glass. There are wild floral notes, spice, orange peel and mandarin along with ripe peaches. The palate is perhaps not quite as exciting, it has medium fruit intensity with some depth to it and while it held its sweetness much better than the Estate Kabinett, I wish it were just a little bit more vibrant. 89/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett
    Slate pervades the nose, with graphite, violets, lemon rind and some apricot notes supporting it. The fruit shows off lovely purity (a running theme throughout this tasting) alongside a frame of acid that provides a note of clarity and finesse, as such it rose above the other Kabinett wines today for me. With good drive and length, this was both impressive and delicious. 91/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese
    Not as expressive and more held back right now compared to the Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett, there is a little peach and a little lime and spending some time swirling coaxed these out just a little more. The sweetness is clearly a step up here compared to the Kabinett, though the tangy acidity also takes a leap forward and I actually like the balance on this more. Medium length with good potential to improve. 89/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese
    Bright aromas of lime, grapefruit chalk, flint and blood orange. The fruit intensity is probably the most dense of the three Spatlese that we tasted, which makes the job done by the acid extremely impressive – it twinkles across the palate and following the finish an impression of minerality remains. The sweetness is really a background character, although with the dish (steamed fish fillet with ginger and shallots) the tinge of sweetness really worked. wonderfully. 91/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
    A burst of matchstick initially but this peels away and the resulting aromas are incredibly intense and perfumed – layered florals, pear, apple, slate and nectarine. The balance is exceptional, nigh on perfect, the sweetness is intertwined with brilliantly focused acidity and there is a sense of weightlessness even aside the great depth of flavour. One of the best young Spatlese I’ve ever tried – sublime stuff! 94/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese
    Spiced orange, pear and some tinned pineapple aromas. Very good honeyed fruit provides the weight with enough acidity to keep up. Nice but seems closed and lacks some of the excitement of the other Auslese for now. 90/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
    Lemon, white floral notes, talc and passion fruit make up the nose. The palate is electric, the acidity soaring and heightening your senses. Surges across the palate and I struggled to keep up at times – fortunately the persistence and carry is excellent so there is plenty of time to think about each sip. A very successful wine that was even better with food to accompany it. 92/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese
    Still very much in the Himmelreich slate/mineral driven style, but at this level I started to see more ripe fruits including peach, apple and pear along with some wax – it’s really quite lovely already and it even feels like it is holding back something more. The fruit character is one of precision, purity and great length, the acidity supporting and lifting the fruit up, finishing with a sense of purpose. 93/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
    An exciting nose of peach, mandarin, apricot, white florals and a streak of lime. The sweetness and ripe fruit is delicious and yet there is poise and control at all times, there is some serious magic involved behind this balance. Elongated by a tight swath of acidity, this has the hallmarks of a classic. 93/100
  • 2004 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese
    A brief interlude from the 2012s, from the 2004 vintage that is described by the estate as having a similar feel. A note of kerosene is just starting to emerge, followed by orange peel, spices, slate and minerals. The development on the nose isn’t as evident on the bright and still youthful palate which is nonetheless starting to sing. Detailed and beautifully composed, this is a wine that has all the elements to develop over the next 15 years. If this is the direction the 2012s are headed then I need to make sure I have some 2012s put away. 92/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
    A serious amplification of intensity and ripeness on both the nose and palate, I needed a moment to step back and adjust my approach. Struck match, pineapple, grapefruit, flint and smoke. Ultra delicious, with the botrytis only just hinted at behind a wave of pure fruit. Mouth-filling though it doesn’t lack focus somehow, probably in part due to excellent texture. Superb, though patience will be rewarding! 94/100
  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
    Has an intensity to it similar to the 2012 Graacher Himmelreich, with a aroma profile including peach, pear, honey, deep floral perfume as well as a herb note on the side that provides an additional layer of interest. The sweetness here is intense but pure, avoiding dipping into syrup territory. There is a saline character to the acidity that enhances the flavour and cleanses the fruit. With a rich butterscotch sauce the sweetness retreated somewhat but the wine was not overwhelmed. A marvellous note to finish on. 94/100

Steamed Dim Sum

Fried Dim Sum

Mr. Wong’s special fried rice with pork and prawn

Steamed fish with ginger and shallots

Salt and pepper lamb cutlets, fennel and cumin

Wok fried baby bok choy with garlic, chilli and oyster sauce

Mango pudding, passionfruit granita, pomelo and pearls

Mr. Wong’s deep fried vanilla ice cream served with butter scotch sauce

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