J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese 2010


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“Smoky black tea, cinnamon spice, and candied lemon rind in the nose of Prum’s 2010 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese lead to a palpably dense, chewy yet glycerin-rich palate of spicy intensity and intriguing pungency but lacking the levity, clarity, or succulence that characterizes other wines in the present collection (and in particular the corresponding Spatlese). As this takes on air, it continues to prickle and tingle both aromatically and on the palate in a way that confirms the impression of more significant and marginally less pure as well as less subtle botrytis than found in most of its siblings. Still, this is a strong-finishing Auslese that I suspect harbors the multi-decade potential one anticipates from its genre at this address. And indeed, if it weren’t for the prestigious address, my slight reservations might seem quibbles. 91 points

Katharina Prum says she and her father performed some de-acidification on their eventual generic Kabinett bottling as wine, but otherwise employed only sparingly light double-salt must de-acidification, insisting that late harvesting was the essential measure to be taken this year against high acidity. (And, as usual, most of the wines were bottled in high summer, relatively late when compared with those of nearly all their Middle Mosel neighbors.) It’s not so much that measurable acidity dropped significantly in the second half of October, opined Prum, but that the character of the acidity changed in immeasurable ways. Other than the aforementioned generic bottling, concentration was deemed simply too high this year for any of an already small crop to be rendered as Kabinett. And indeed, only the two most prominent sites were captured in Spatlese format; all else is Auslese and above. Prum notes that levels of residual sugar are seldom significantly higher this year than in other recent vintages, with the result that the wines generally tend to taste a bit drier. “Above and beyond” (as it were) those wines I report on (or whose existence I at least mention) below, there is material from Wehlener Sonnenuhr expected to inform long gold capsule Auslese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese and be released in future years. (Veteran readers of my reports will know by now that while there are often multiple eponymous Prum bottlings, the family is loathe to disclose the A.P. #s of wines they serve in tastings, numbers that might be required to disambiguate between lots which they insist that there will only ever be very slight difference. In 2010, the crop is was so small that there are few alternate bottlings.)”

David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (199)