I was not going to bother writing up this utterly delicious wine, but Peter ‘The Kid’ Palmer tells me I must. “People need to know”, he says.
Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr 1996, J J Prum
A linear, direct nose of ripe citrus fruit. The fruit is stellar in its intensity, but the minerality on the nose beats this into submission as far as shining beams of memory burning laser light goes. It is complex, harmonious and refined. And direct. It is beautiful. The palate has quite a lot of sweetness, but it seems secondary, even this beautiful, ripe fruit and body, compared to the stunning purity of the minerality and acidity. This wine screams into the pantheon of brilliant experiences and leaves a smoking trail through the hall of good times.
And believe it or not, David’s note is actually under-stated. Wonderful. One of the things of which happiness is made.
Peter, would you care to comment on the wine’s stage of maturity?
One of the particularly lovely things about this wine is that age has enhanced its complexity without taking away any of its vigour and lusciousness. It is a wine of great beauty and sheer delight. Aging Riesling really can be worthwhile, although I still maintain that drinking half of our Riesling young, and aging the rest, is a good approach. Also the sulphur that tends to be rather pronounced in young Prum has gone, although I’m not really bothered by sulphur anyway.
The three German Rieslings that age in this style (I am thinking of Egon ‘Yoda’ Muller’s Scharzhofberger, ‘Shouting’ Manfred Prum’s Wehlener Sonnenuhr and ‘Lovely’ Sofia Thanisch-Speer’s Berncasteler Doctor) are all not short of a good dose of sulphur. It doesn’t bother me so much either, Peter, when these things are young. I suppose I should also point out that those three wines are also some of the most intense, thrillingly balanced wines you’ll ever try.
Oh while I remember: I had some Kabinett and Spatlese 96s from Prum which I necked when they were young. Staggering wines of poise, harmony and intensity. And a lot of acidity. Just goes to show if you go for a damned good producer even lesser vintages can blow your mind.