The Zeltinger Sonnenuhr vineyard in the most northernly site and directly borders the northern edge of the Wehlener Sonnenuhr. Both sites are named after the sundials (Sonnenuhr) that sit amongst the vines and that are clearly visible from the other side of the river. The Zeltinger Sonnenuhr has a similar sun exposition and steepness to its neighbour, but there is less top soil (if we can use such a term in the Mosel) and the roots hit on the firm slate rock almost immediately. This means the vines have more trouble finding water which affects yields and the characteristics of the vines. Prüm’s parcel comes from a patch of 60-70 year old vines around the sundial. The wines can be very complex,with earthy, rocky and smokey notes. They can have a certain dense, less elegant personality (depending on the vintage) and their acidity often is lower. They perhaps do not achieve the same finesse as the wines from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr but they are probably more complex and can deliver wonderful, mouthfilling pleasure nonetheless. - Importer Note
The Mosel River Valley is probably the most famous and arguably the most admired wine region of Germany. In its wider sense, it includes the adjacent Saar and Rüwer (hence Mosel-Saar-Rüwer), both tributaries of the Mosel River, however it is the middle Mosel (mittelmosel), in particular between and including the towns of Bernkastel-Kues and Erden that the most brilliant wines tend to be produced. Berkastel, Grach, Wehlen, and Zeltingen are some of the most famous wine towns here. All of the vineyards of J.J. Prüm are located within this prestigious strip. The Prüm family history in the Mosel dates back as early as 1156! However Johann Josef Prüm (1873 - 1944), founded the J.J. Prüm estate in 1911. Dr Manfred Prüm has led the estate since 1969. Now his daughter Katharina is taking over the mantle. The 13.5 hectare estate includes some 70% of ungrafted vines (because the phylloxera louse cannot survive in these slate soils.)
So what is the secret is to the quality of the J.J. Prüm wines? How is it that they differ so much in style and quality from the wines of most other Mosel producers? The answer, as always, lies mostly in the vineyards, backed up by winemaking of the highest order. Great sites, old vines, the lowest yields, very late harvesting and selection of only the best berries. In the winery the winemaking is as natural as possible with as little intervention as possible. The wines typically need several years to start showing their best and can live and develop for decades. Generally speaking, the later the harvest, the longer the wine can live, so Spatlese is more age worthy than Kabinett, Auslese more so than Spatlese, and so on.
All of the vineyards of J.J. Prüm are renowned yet it is the great Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard that is the most famous. This site lies opposite the village of Wehlen on a very steep, south-west facing slope between the Graach and Zeltingen vineyards. Stuart Pigott notes; 'For wine lovers around the world the Wehlener Sonnenuhr name is synonymous with great Riesling. In top vintages the site yields the richest, silkiest, most seductive wines on the Mosel. The fame of these Rieslings is inextricably linked with that of the Joh Jos Prüm estate. " Having said this, Prüm also produces outstanding wine from benchmark sites in Graach (Graacher Himmelreich), Zeltingen (Zeltinger Sonnenuhr) and Bernkastel (Bernkasteler Badstube) and it is very difficult to pick these wines apart in blind tastings ‚– they are all exceptional. Yet they all subtly express the unique personality of the vineyard in a given year.
Although the J.J. Prum vineyards all border each other along the same riverbank and share roughly the same soils (Devonian slate), each site has subtle, yet important differences that results in quite distinctive styles of wine. We'll try to address each of these below. Let's follow each site in order from North to South starting with Zeltinger and ending with Bernkastel.
- Importer Note
|Product Type||Wine White Riesling|
|Sub Region||Zeltinger Sonnenuhr|