Saturday, May 23, 2009


So continuing with my expanded coverage of the Palm Bay Winemaker’s Portfolio tasting I attended in Chicago (my apologies, I feel a bit like I am gloating, most annoyingly), I have to mention the wines from Germany’s S.A. Prum in the Mosel. Winemaker Saskia Prum was at the helm, and pouring some remarkable wines.

Beginning with the two “entry-level” wines, the Essence Pinot Blanc 2008 and Essence Riesling 2008, you get a definite sense that “terroir” plays a role, but doesn’t overshadow the fruit; Saskia wishes the fruit to be equally demonstrative. Both wines should very well, with the Pinot Blanc exhibiting terrific balance of mineral and stone fruit characteristics. The Riesling wasn’t cloying at all, just satisfying and just slightly sweet.

The Prum Blue Riesling 2007 is a Kabinett-style Riesling with expressive apricot and peach notes, and excellent minerality throughout its lush and lingering finish. The fruit originates from steep hillside vineyards found atop blue slate soil, lending to the elegant mineral components of the wine.

From there, Saskia highlighted her wines from the prime sites Graacher Himmelreich, Urziger Wurzgarten and Wehlener Sonnenuhr.

The Graacher Himmelrich wines were the Riesling Spatlese 2007 and the Riesling Eiswein 2001. Both were showing remarkably well, with the Eiswein obviously being my favorite, having yielded exquisite honeyed peach and carmelized apricot flavors. The Spatlese was bright, slightly sweet, rich and vibrant.

The Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett 2006 was still youthful, with lots of stone fruit vigor and balance. On the lower end of the sweet spectrum, this beautiful white was medium-bodied with a stunning finish and lots of peach, Rainier Cherry, and quinine notes.

From the Wehlener Sonnenuhr comes both the Riesling Spatlese 2007 and Auslese 2005, and I was duly impressed by both.

It’s tough to find fault with wines that show extremely well, in an atmosphere of congenial passion and animation shared by winemakers, salespeople, and fans alike. I had not tasted the wines of S.A. Prum before, and being as big a German wine fan as I am, I felt somewhat ashamed in that knowledge. Yet now I know, and you can look for them coming your way soon.

I still have a lot of ground to cover, what with Jean-Luc Colombo’s impressive single-vineyard Cornas wines, the surprising complexity of Israel’s Recanati wines, and the vast array of spectacular Italian wines that were on display.
Stay tuned, there is more to come.

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