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J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2011

J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2011

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"A delightful hint of salted caramel creeps into the nose and onto the palate of Prum’s 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese gold capsule, which when combined with apple jelly, honey and nougat not to mention a creamy and almost taffy-like texture, makes for a decidedly confectionary aura. Sweet liquid essences of lily, musky peony and gardenia as well as a faint oiliness and high glycerol enhance the luxuriantly seductive effect of this long-lingering performance, yet there remains a critical modicum of fresh apple and melon juiciness (if less efficacious than that of the corresponding Bernkasteler) to complement the sense of levity in this elixir’s finish and to render the next sip virtually irresistible. (There will be an auctioned counterpart to this bottling, but like a number of other eventual upper-Pradikat Prum 2011s, I have not yet had an opportunity to taste it.) 95 points

Katharina Prum says her team did an extensive pre-harvest culling of negatively botrytized material in September, “but it was the beginning of October before you had the ripeness to harvest a good Kabinett.” And the Prums were very happy – over and beyond the no doubt more conspicuous successes that this vintage brought them, including the results of sparse late botrytis – to have been able to bottle a full range of Kabinetts in decent quantity; indeed, there’s marginally more Kabinett than Spatlese, something that would have been taken for granted here 25 or more years ago but is today rare. And what quality and value – not to mention age-ability – these Kabinetts offer! Relatively low – upper 20s or low 30s – residual sugar in them has meant reaching 9-9.5% alcohol, but I defy anyone to charge them with lack of delicacy. “This balance is intentionally what we’re tending toward now,” explains Prum. “Since we don’t make any trocken wines, this is our notion of a light, dry Mosel Riesling. But that doesn’t mean we did any calculations or often had to intervene. For the most part, the wines simply found their own balance.” This year’s collection at Uferalle 19 is happily notable also for wines that are nearly all frank and forthcoming, with little of the interference from fermentative afterbirth or sulfur byproducts that one must often accept early-on in the life of a vintage at this address. And, curiously, the wines from Wehlener Sonnenuhr, rather than being the most backward, were atypically open last September. It goes without saying given their long track record that these are, in general, wines to cellar long-term – even the Kabinetts among them – but you will certainly not be disappointed if you can’t restrain yourself from opening some Prum 2011s today! (As frequently explained in the context of my reviews of these wines, I am not always privy to the A.P. numbers of the bottles I sample at Joh. Jos. Prum and the family prides themselves on consistency between different but – save for their registration numbers – identically-labeled bottlings. That said, in instances where there are several otherwise eponymous 2011 bottlings and the wine in question is iconic and beloved of Riesling collectors – such as a Wehlener Spatlese or Auslese – I take the opportunity to, in this instance, supply the registration number of the bottling that I tasted.)
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David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (206)