Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese 2012

There’s an exuberance to some Riesling styles of which one should quickly take advantage. Then there’s this sort of Riesling, one that screams to be left alone for a while and, if forced out of its bottle now, will kick and scream its way into your mouth. In fact, the bottle I had last night was pretty much all arms and legs, gangly to the point of awkwardness. Yet the components are there and, even during the course of our all-too-brief encounter, it improved considerably.

As I suggested at some length in my note on the 2008 edition, this is a wine style that succeeds or fails on its fine balance, as well as on the tension between lusciousness of fruit and taut minerality. While the 2012 is a bit awkward on entry, clumsy on its mid-palate transition and strident through its after palate, it’s clearly a wine of inherent balance and exciting contrasts. There’s an impactful thrust of almost tropical fruit at the front of the palate, enlivened by a hint of CO2 spritz. This fullness is abruptly whisked away from the mid-palate onwards by a searing cut of finely textured acid. This end of the wine fascinates me most. A streak of savoury minerality (accompanied for now by a noticeable whiff of sulfur) is inseparable from fine phenolics and even, bubbly acid. Granted, this textural component isn’t yet fully integrated with the wine’s fruit and residual sugar swell, but I’m sure it will come together with some time.

Awkward for now. Still, a delicious wine and one that promises so much down the track.

J.J. Prüm
Price: $96
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *