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J.J. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling 2018

For centuries the Prüm family has called the village of Wehlen home. The 33.5 acre estate consists of nearly 70% ungrafted vines. Their vineyards are in the best parts of the top Middle-Mosel sites. Their average annual production is 13,000 cases. The harvest at J.J. Prüm is always extremely late, and the wines are very long-lived with the 2018 showing no change in that notion.

Riesling possesses the ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also, a higher a.b.v. usually indicates a drier Riesling.

The Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard has become intrinsically attached to the name of Joh. Jos. Prüm. The Estate owns five hectares of this site. It offers perfect growing conditions for the Riesling grape with its deep, weather-beaten grey slate soil, good water support, extreme steepness of up to 70% gradient, and its optimal south to south-west exposure. Wehlener Sonnenuhr is named after the sundial erected in the vineyard in 1842 by Jodocus Prüm, an ancestor of J.J. Prüm, to give the workers a better time orientation. The wines of the Wehlener Sonnenuhr possess excellent structure, show beautiful, ripe aromas and flavors (typically stone fruits), a fine minerality, and great depth and length. After having been aged for some years, the harmony, finesse and expression of these wines is unique.

There are blossom aromas followed by a touch of yellow peach and fresh pineapple. It is very long, bright, and delicate with a medium-bodied palate. This wine is shows to be versatile and pairs well with different dishes including seafood, poultry, and Asian cuisine. Wine Enthusiast, as is the case with quality Riesling, deems this wine, “While tempting in youth, it should improve through 2035.”

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