A very special and rare lecture and tasting with Raimund Prüm, owner and winemaker at the SA PRUM estate in Germany’s Mosel Valley. SA PRUM ranks among the region’s top producers of high quality Riesling.
Come join us to learn about the history, geography, style and characteristics of Mosel Riesling. We will taste a special selection of classic wines during the class and a different selection at the lunch/tasting to follow.
Raimund Prüm, owner and winemaker of S.A. Prum
Ian Blackburn, our host from www.LearnAboutWine.com, introduced Raimund Prüm by stating that Prüm’s Rieslings were not “sweet wines” in fact when Blackburn had visited “the Mosel” he found that white asparagus was in season and was one of many foods that he was surprised that paired so well with Prüm’s wines.
“Forget everything,” began Prüm, “that you ever learned about Rieslings. Think of this as an outstanding wine grape – and we are going to take you by the hand and down to our cellar to show you what is going on there.”
Prüm’s family dates back to 1156 in the Mosel Valley, 90 minutes from Frankfurt, and Raimund Prüm made his first vintage on Christmas Eve in 1970 – an Eiswein (Ice Wine). By 1971, after his father passed away, Prüm found himself making wine full time. Forty years later Prüm has produced over a million bottles of wine from his 28,000 acres.
Prüm, with the help of a slide show, explained the terroir of the Mosel: Steep hillsides – the highest elevations in all of Germany at 900 feet – and the grey and red slate that can be found layered in the mineral-rich soil.
A notable Sundial appeared on one of the slides, the first one was circa 1842, which marked where the best Rieslings, his Rieslings, were grown. Now that sundial has been duplicated in other vineyards, denoting them as the finest.
1. Wehlener Sonnenuhr Erste Lage* “Old Vines Grosse Gewachs Dry Riesling 2004
The palest of the line up with lemon, green apple, citrus, very smooth and balanced. The term “Erst Lage” on a label is their version of a “Grand Cru”.
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr Erste Lage “Old Vines Grosse Gewachs Dry Riesling 2006
Honeysuckle, jasmine, sharper lemony taste, grass, slightly acidic, long finish.
- Graacher Dompropst Grosse Gewachs Riesling 2007
Honeyed-grapefruit, white pepper, dried apricot, pear, a tingling finish and not what I considered sweet. An early favorite for me.
- Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett Riesling 2009
Green hay, a trail mix filled with flavorful dried fruit, tangerine, round and coating on the tongue.
- Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling 2010
Vanilla, peach, like a 50-50 ice cream bar: orange sherbet wrapped around creamy vanilla ice cream, another interesting favorite.
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Riesling 2009
Candied ginger, pineapple, ripe persimmon and balanced with some spice on the back palate.
- Graacher Himmelreich Eiswein 2004
Spice, dried apple slices, golden raisin, tangy edge.
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr TBA 2005 *extremely limited and rare
Deep burnt orange in color, and from inches away I could smell orange rind and spice rack, getting closer I detected a silkiness, honey and those golden raisins again.
Balanced. It was the one word that kept coming up as I sniffed, swirled and sampled the Rieslings. And, apparently, it was on Prüm’s tongue as well. He mentioned all kinds of pairings from cheeses, salads, seafood, pork dishes, filet mignon to Thai food. “These are food friendly wines. Stop thinking red wine and red meat.” In conclusion Prüm said, “Someone once commented to me that my wines have too much balance. Is there such a thing?” No, thank Bacchus, there is not.
About SA PRUM
Family-owned S.A. Prüm, founded in 1911 by Sebastian Alois Prüm, has been in the hands of Raimund Prüm, head winemaker and Sebastian’s grandson, since 1971. Under Raimund’s leadership the property has earned a reputation as one of the most successful wineries in Germany’s celebrated Mosel wine region.
The Prüm family has a rich and ancient history in the mid-Mosel. Here they have owned vineyards in the towns of Bernkastel, Graach, Wehlen and Zeltingen since 1156. Today, the estate comprises 40 acres of vineyards planted principally with Riesling. Over 15 acres of S.A. Prüm’s holdings are located within the famed Wehlener Sonnenuhr (“sundial of Wehlen”) domain.
Named for the historic sundial painted on an outcrop of slate by a Prüm ancestor back in 1842, the incredibly steep Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard is a renowned source of what is arguably Germany’s finest Riesling. Here vines average 80 years and older and benefit from plentiful sunshine – a critical factor in the world’s northernmost wine-producing country. The soil is comprised of layers of finely decomposed, mineral-rich blue slate.
Underneath, deep-lying aquifers provide the vines with adequate water during dry periods.
S.A.Prüm is a founding member of the Association of German Premium Wineries (VDP), a consortium of Germany’s top producers. Raimund Prüm employs organic fertilization, hand-picking and strict yield control to ensure the utmost quality. Day-to-day operations at S.A. Prüm are a family effort. Daughter Saskia Andrea (another S.A. Prüm) is integrally involved and after working at top wineries around the world, is poised to take over the reins from her father. Jennifer, Raimund’s second daughter, is involved in the administrative side of the business.