2015 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2015
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 95
White Wine
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Price :
$34.95

DUE IN: SUMMER 2017

"Challenged by the 2015 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese, the 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese (AP 13) gives all its charm to keep its legendary number one status among the Jay-Jay classics. In fact, the 2015 opens with a very clear, fine and floral bouquet of white fruits, flowers and weathered slate. It's sweet, lush and juicy on the seductive palate, with a piquant acidity and tight, but still very elegant structure. This is a gorgeous Spätlese that has more sweetness and charm compared to the Zeltingen Spätlese; the latter is more straight, piquant and mineral, with less fruit flesh and sensuality, but intellectual ambitions.

Katharina Prüm is very happy with the 2015s, but she is also wondering why this vintage is that enormously hyped, when other exceptional vintages such as 2013 are still underrated.

After a pretty rainy June, 2015 saw the hottest July that Katharina and even her father Manfred Prüm can remember. Then, surprisingly, September was not just rainy but cool—even cooler than the long-term average. This did not just cause pronounced acidities, but it also protected the grapes from severe rot. "Luckily, October was was not only slightly cooler, but also much drier than average, providing excellent harvest conditions," says Katharina Prüm. The harvest started slowly in early October and was finished on November 4th. Team Prüm was able to select all predicate levels from Kabinett to Trockenbeerenauslese, excluding Eiswein.

The resulting wines are very clear, fresh, cool and aromatic on the nose and reveal a remarkable precision. The palate is characterized by its ripe, lush and intense fruit, as well as a racy-piquant acidity. Several of the finest wines were auctioned in Trier (2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese and Auslese; 2015 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Gold Capsule; 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Long Gold Capsule; and the 2005 Graacher Himmelreich Trockenbeerenauslese), but the 2015 BAs and TBAs will only be auctioned later.

The highlights of the 2015 portfolio beyond the Graacher Himmelreich Trockenbeerenauslese contain several Auslesen and Spätlesen, so there are great new wines for all lovers of the Prüm classics.

Since 2016, Katharina Prüm owns the neighboring Weingut Dr F. Weins-Prüm, whose 2015 vintage was the last one. Whether the name will stay as a brand is not yet clear. Possibly, Katharina will start a new project with a new name besides the family estate. Reasons enough to stay tuned." (WA)

"A faint, yeasty veil needs to clear. Ripe apple and quince are garlanded in honeysuckle and lily and met by a hint of mango more predictable at this level of ripeness than were the tropical effusions harbored by the corresponding Kabinett. Strikingly creamy as well as delicate, the midpalate adds bright lime juiciness, apple seed piquancy and bittersweet vanilla bean, all of which go on to inform a lusciously ripe yet vibrant and refreshing finish. This is lovely, but it does illustrate what the Prüms consider typical youthful Wehlener Sonnenuhr behavior, insofar as it’s not quite as expressive or possessed of the same intrigue today as are the corresponding Zeltinger Sonnenuhr or (despite its initially veiled nose) the Graacher Himmelreich." (VM)

"Probably the finest 2015 spätlese from J.J. Prum, but the nose is still a bit closed. Sensational clarity and vibrancy on the palate, the mineral finish super-long and refined. Better from 2018 and a long future ahead of it." (JS)