2005 J.J. Pr�m: Epic Wines,

Posted by CrushWine

After our initial 2005 Riesling futures campaign lauded the incredible conditions in the middle-Mosel, we received a huge number of inquiries about our omission of some of the best vineyard sites for Riesling in the whole world; specifically the wines of the legendary Joh. Jos. Prüms.

How are the wines in '05?

Let's start with the opinion of the man himself, the historically tight-lipped Manfred:

In a recent conversation with Rudi Wiest, Herr Prüm called it his "best vintage in the past four decades," and said he was "blown away with 2005." Most convincing of all, he is confident that the vintage will stand up to the legendary wines of 1949 (!) ... Quite an early endorsement from a man who waited three years to comment on the 2003 vintage before comparing it to the celebrated vintage of '59.

While 2005 was an outstanding vintage across the board in the Mosel, don't be fooled into thinking every wine made was great.

Even in a top-notch vintage, you have to know how to handle the raw material you're given, and some vintners struggled in their efforts to vinify grapes that ripened extremely early.

However, having made great wine for the better part of the last 40 years, Dr. Prüm is a master of making sure that each bottling is true to its Prädikat level. 2005 is no exception - each wine marries an incredible ripeness of fruit and concentration while preserving a feather-like lightness.

These are wines for long keeping or early enjoyment in 2006. We are confident that you will be absolutely overwhelmed by the quality of these beyond-impressive efforts.

Where In The World?

View from Graacher Himmelreich to Wehlener Sonnenuhr

Situated in the mid-Southwest corner of the country, the Mosel is the homeland of excellent Riesling.

But why does the specific ~20 mile stretch known as the Mid-Mosel do especially well?

Glacial effects caused the Mosel river to be much twistier here, so the surrounding land is much higher in altitude, offering the absolute best exposure at an average of 200m (650 ft) ... low enough to avoid wind but high enough to avoid frost.

The river is also wider which causes additional reflection of the suns rays (read: it's warmer).

The area recognized as "mid-Mosel" begins upriver at Tritenheim, continues downriver through the following famous towns: Piesport, Braunberg, Mulheim, Lieser, Bernkastel, Graach, Wehlen, Zeltingen, Urzig, Erden.

Soil type in the region is fast draining Devonian slate that also retains heat and makes wines that are delicate but with a stony steel-like core.

Virtually 100% of the grapes grown in the Mosel are Riesling, though a bit of Muller Thurgau, and Kerner and a scant amount of Spätburgunder exist.

Mosel Vineyard-site Cheat Sheet:

All Mosel wines share a common green apple, citrus, and slate flavors.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr:
The most concentrated and ripe with a distinct smokiness

Graacher Himmelreich:

Incredible oily richness. Plumper peach & cassis flavors

Zeltinger Sonnenuhr:

Incomparable elegance. Lighter and spicier fruit.

Bernkasteler Badstude:
More masculine, steely and firm, yet lightest of all.

What's does Joh. Jos. Mean?

Joh. Jos. is short for Johann Josef Prüm, the founder of this particular Prüm estate in 1911.

The Prüm family traces its history in the Mosel back to 1156 (!) and several other Prüm descendents inherited their own Mosel vineyards in the 1900s, including S.A. Prüm, and Weins-Prüm.