While initially quite closed on nose this is actually more plump with fruit than the Bernkastler tasted before; notes of marmalade, pink grapefruit, the noble bitterness of meadow herbs and sage. A highly sophisticated Kabinet, with ripe acids and clear airy flavours finishing on complex slate and savoury minerals. The Himmelreich of Graach is a first rate vineyard, the soils are a little deeper and richer than the Wehlener Sonnenuhr and the site is little less sun-blanched.
Manfred Prüm runs one of the Mosel’s, if not the whole of Germany’s, most revered and respected Estates. It is also amongst the most enigmatic as no-one has yet made it down to his mysterious cellars. Manfred is certainly one of the world’s more eccentric wine producers and a tasting in his drawing room with him is always enjoyable and entertaining. In the Sonnenuhr of Wehlen he owns a portion of one of the Mittel Mosel’s top vineyards. Its steep south-facing dark slate slopes tend to result in deeply flavoured, mineral yet rich and smoky wines. In addition, he manipulates some plots in the next door Himmelreich of Graacher which produces engaging wines with fresh acidities that are slightly softer and earlier maturing. These are unashamedly classic, exciting and long-lived wines produced predominantly in stainless tanks to avoid the addition of too much sulphur, though a small proportion of wooden casks are retained, however, depending on the vintage. They are bottled later than most Mosel and often take a few years in bottle before showing the true character, but patience will be rewarded!
The vineyards along the steep sided banks of the Mosel river, part of the region known as the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, are known for being some of the hardest vineyards in the world to work (due to their steepness) and home to some of the finest white wines in the world. Riesling is king in this cool region that follows the twists and turns of the River Mosel providing myriad different terroirs and vineyard aspects.