JJ Prum is undoubtedly the most consistent producer of Mosel Riesling. The wines are absolutely floorless and addictively moreish!
The best wine writers in the world have all written about JJ Prum at some point in their careers and none have been disappointed with the wines. To continue this trend I will not be writing about JJ Prum. Instead I thought I'd take you on a journey (with some help from our importer) through the vineyard sites of the Mosel that have paved the way for the best wines in the region.
These wines are incredibly limited and rare. Please make sure you place your requests immediately to avoid disappointment. This offer is available to Veno customers and pricing will differ from that seen online at veno.com.au
From North to South...
Zeltingen is the town and Sonnenuhr is a sundial. You'll find this sundial in the middle of the vineyard. The vineyard faces south-west like its neighbour (Wehlener Sonnenuhr) but the soils are leaner which keeps yields to a painstakingly low level. The wines from the vineyard may not be as famous or as instantly lovable as those from Wehlener and Graacher, but its charm lies in the intricate and complex nature of these wines. They are far more savoury and concentrated with lower acidity, which means they are the most moreish of the bunch.
Wehlen is the town and Sonnenuhr is another sundial. This is a magical site and my personal favourite in the Mosel. The vineyard faces south-south-west on an extremely steep slope. The difference here is that it has healthier, deeper soils that can support balanced vine growth. The soils are still that classic grey slate we have come to adore in the Mosel and the wines are no different. The wines of the Wehlener Sonnenuhr are the most structured and complex in all of the Mosel. Their length, their flavour, their minerality, their substance... they're everything. Given time in bottle the wines of Wehlener will blossom further. They'll develop from their tight and focused immature selves into a more majestic, harmonious and adult persona. Best drinking 5 - 25 years.
Graacher is the town and Himmelreich means Heaven so we have no choice but to love this wine. Graacher Himmelreich is to the south of Wehlener Sonnenuhr with a similar (albeit more westerly) sun exposure and only slightly less steeper hillsides. The soils are similar but deeper again than its neighbour. The wines from Graacher are generally more approachable and immediately drinkable upon release. They still maintain their mineral and acid intensity only on a more approachable spectrum. They are downright delicious and absolute winners as 'drink now to 10 years' wines.
Bernkastel is the town and Lay is an old word for slate. It is this blue/grey slate that typifies this vineyard and the wines that are produced from it. The dark coloured slate is not only known for it's mineral influence in the wines but also the warmth it holds in the vineyard throughout the night. The vineyard sits on a steep south-south-west slope meaning it receives sunlight throughout the entire day. These are the main factors that lead to wines from Bernkasteler Lay being ripe, intense and rich. This vineyard is probably made most famous by Dr Loosen.
Bernkasteler is the town and Badstube for some reason translates to Roman bathes... or maybe Google is broken. This vineyard borders those of the Graacher Himmelreich yet they are very different from one another. Bernkasteler Badstube is less steep with deeper soils. These deeper soils are filled with a higher clay content which is a good source of water in those drier years, but also means more vine growth and natural yield. The slope of the vineyard faces west, so the hot afternoon sun plays a significant role in the life of the vines as they experience longer exposure to the afternoon sun. The resulting wines are a little softer, less mineral and less structured than their Graacher and Wehlener counterparts. Instead they are vibrant, floral and a great way to get into Mosel Riesling.
The Mosel River is a very diverse place, but don't forget the numerous aspects that all the vineyards have in common. This unique region is one to be appeciated and respected, even marvelled. Like all wines, in order to gain an appreciation for them you must first try them... if you can get hands on them. Good luck!