Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2018

An acquired taste and one for laying down

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Johann Josef Prüm (JJ to his friends) is one of the great Mosel winehouses, and this is a seriously well-regarded wine amongst experts.  So how has The Light Drinker dared to rate it at only a 3?  The answer is essentially that when we ran it by our Riesling tasting panel none of us really enjoyed it, especially at a chunky £27 per bottle, despite its delicious flavours of mango, jasmine, tropical fruits and grapefruit.  We found it rather out of balance (on the sweet side) and with a displeasing mineral aftertaste.

This is not what other reviewers think, who speak lovingly of its “smoky minerality”, probably attributable to JJ’s choice of yeast, but more romantically to the slate ridges of the Mosel valley and they enthuse about its flavours.  But they also note that it will improve in balance and taste with age.

What this wine really tells us is the importance of ageing in a good Riesling (and this is a good Riesling).   Ours was a 2018 vintage and that is too young.  This wine will definitely age well for 10 years and can even be kept for 20.  At Berry Bros, this wine is mainly sold in bond, which is probably the right place for it.  So selling it now to unwary punters is a risk.  That said, if you don’t buy it young the price will keep rising.  Even a 2016 will set cost you about £10 more.

So a fine wine, one that connoisseurs may love, but to my mind one to lay down, or avoid.

Makers Notes

With a south-west exposure and deeper soils than Wehlener [the other main Johan Josef Prüm vineyard], there is a slightly earthier quality to this vineyard. The resulting wine is fuller with a more honeyed nose, tinged with exotic fruits. The palate has glorious tension, crisp fruit, a fine intense ‘attack’ and just a touch of steel to the finish. Despite its still youthful freshness it shows the fine fruity Riesling characteristic and an underlying hint of mineral from the blue/grey Devonian slate soil.

Tasting Notes

  • Colour: Straw yellow
  • Nose: Very slight but earthy
  • Pour:
  • Taste: Mango, jasmine, tropical fruits and grapefruit
  • Body: Medium semi-sweet with slight spritz
  • Finish: Mineral

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Other Drinkers' Ratings

White Wine
ABV achieved by
Mosel, Germany
Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher
Bottle size (ml)
Slight spritz


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