Heaven is a place in Graach

German 2015s are on the street! The hype has been enormous – I think 2015 has been the third vintage of the century it is that good! More seriously, some people whose judgement I trust have been really positive about 2015 Riesling. So I took the plunge and got some Joh. Jos. Prum – they are probably the finest winemaker I can afford these days.

Graacher Himmelreich is not Prum’s best vineyard, but it is certainly no second-class wine. It has a character that is entirely different to that of their most famous vineyard and those wine definitely burns with that character! The note:

Prum Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett 2015Riesling Kabinett Graacher Himmelreich 2015, Joh. Jos. Prum

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, you can smell acidity. In this wine the acidity blasts out of the glass, firing electric currents up one nostril. They charge your sinuses, invigorating and enlivening them, before zapping out of your other nostril to fry any small creatures foolish enough to be in range of this stunning Kabinett.

The fruit is also laser-focused, highly precise lime aromas. By heaven, the minerality is stunning too. This is the nose of a fucking serious wine.

It still has the Prum thumb-print, but it is not as immediately identifiable as Wehlener Sonnenuhr. It is also different to that other great master of Graacher Himmelreich, Willi Schaefer. Willi makes lovely wines, but they do not have the same nigh-petrifying aromatic profile.

On the palate the fruit and acidity are as focussed and linear as a sniper’s bullet. For those of us with sensitive stomachs on Proton Pump Inhibitors this translates as, “Aaaargh! Aaaargh! It hurts! It hurts so much! Another glassful, please!”.

If you take a big mouthful and give it a quick swirl around your mouth, before your teeth dissolve, you get the idea that there is some hint of tropical fruit going on, something passion fruit-like. However, the main fruit impression is a laser guided missile filled with lime peel targeted directly at your mouth.

Now, I have talked a lot about focus, directness and laser guided bombs, but if you like your Kabinetts to be Kabinetty and have the true terror balance of a really fine wine, this will etch into your palate that it is a great wine.

I’ve been buying JJ Prum wines since 1990: 83s and 85s to start with, and have tasted much older examples. This is clearly the most shriekingly brilliant JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett, both in terms of character and sheer quality, I have battled in a mano e vino contest during my Riesling-loving life. Be brave, buy a box of bottles.

  • Guy

    A lovely read! I’ve put a few away. But here are the things that puzzle me… Everyone seems to say Prum is the best (apart from rare things and the fat monk, perhaps), and yet it does’t really cost much more at all than the other premier league producers. So is there any reason not to buy Prum? If you’re going to buy it, everyone seems to say Wehlener is best, and it’s not much more than Grach? So do all roads lead to Prum WS? It also seems that people regard von Schubert Abts as no-brainer…. It sort of seems the opposite of Burgundy in a sense, where a top producer wine costs much more than everyone else, but people subscribe to the idea that there are small, niche producers that outperform the better known names in terms of value. Or to put it another way, in Burgundy all roads lead to lots of thinking. Would love to read your views on German wine like your great buyers guide to the Northern Rhone. And I must sort out lunch – I know, I know. I will!!!