From the first sniff and taste, it is clear that 2016 is a wonderful vintage for JJ Prum and tasting these wines is a special experience. Prum’s wines are often described as reductive or closed when released. This is not the case with the 2016’s, which all exhibit immediate appeal. They will however age very well.
To enjoy the magic of Prum, you do not need to buy a Goldcapsule. Every single wine is outstanding and unique. This is the hallmark of a great German estate. If you want to try a First Growth Bordeaux for example, you can only do this by trying the Grand Vin. The second and third wines are in no way a First Growth and are stylistically different. Usually overpriced, they are a waste of time.
The Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett is Prum’s least expensive wine. However, I recommend it as enthusiastically as a Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Goldcapsule, the most expensive. They are different wines, for different occasions, but equally beautiful.
Despite the different vineyards and Pradikat levels (categories), it is clear that the wines are made by the same hand. They all display the rhythm and cadence that is Prum. Neat and composed, the components of fruit, sweetness and acid are so well threaded that the texture is of soft, slender silk. The differences in the wines are all about nuances. Spices, minerals and structure are signposts; as are the subtle differences in fruit profiles.
The following vineyard observations provide a guide to the glorious 2016 Prum range:
Bernkasteler Badstube – The softest and most accessible of the 2016’s. The wine’s are drinking beautifully now. Slender and delicate with wonderful integration of acid, fruit and sweetness.
Graacher Himmelreich – Linnear, precise, tense. The most obviously structured and framed wines. Mouthwatering and mineral. Will live a very long time.
Zeltinger Sonnenuhr – Nervy, exotic,spicy. Classic and yet entirely unique. Racy, with a dancers energy. Flavours and texture different to the other wines.
Wehlener Sonnenuhr – We are awakening a sleeping giant. Broad, generous and the most complex. A Swirling muleta, cloaking power and potential.