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Senior editor and tasting director Bruce Sanderson joined Wine Spectator in 1993. His tasting beats are Burgundy, Italy and Germany.
Bruce Sanderson

A Riesling Between Youth and Maturity

Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling Auslese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Wehlener Sonnenuhr 1998

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: November 13, 2009

When my brother was visiting New York recently, my colleague Kim Marcus and his wife, Wendy, hosted a dinner at their house in Queens. We began with some bubbly and, with a first course of lobster salad, I planned on serving Chablis.

We needed something to bridge the Champagne and Chablis, so I opened a 1998 Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr from Joh. Jos. Prüm. I purchased a few bottles of this white, from Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, back in 2000 for $27 apiece. That year, it earned the No. 95 spot on our Top 100 wines of 2000.

The Riesling featured a savory bouquet, tinged by slate and spice and still hinting at peach and lime, but more honeyed than I remember it in its youth. Clearly in the off-dry camp, yet drier than when I reviewed it nearly 10 years ago, it was balanced by tangy acidity. The flavors are developing to more mineral and spice, as it moves from the primary fruit of its birth to the stone character of maturity. The finish was long and very fine. I gave it 94 points, non-blind.

Prüm Rieslings age beautifully and, though enjoyable at this stage, this auslese is just beginning to hit its stride. I recommend drinking it between 2010 and 2025. My original review suggests drinking through 2010. As I get more experience with mature German Rieslings, I find that, if stored properly, they age more slowly than I first predicted.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling Auslese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Wehlener Sonnenuhr 1998 (93, $34).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among German Riesling.

FREE: Confused by German wine terms? Watch our video on German Label Lingo.

David Peters
Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken, Japan —  November 16, 2009 9:00pm ET
"We needed something to bridge the Champagne and Chablis"

Hahaha. I can't imagine that most readers can identify with this statement. Maybe I lack imagination, but really?
Gene Janulis
Austin, TX, USA —  November 29, 2009 8:49pm ET
I have a 2005 Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr from Joh. Jos. Prum that I am waiting to taste. Wish I had more than one bottle.

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