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S.A. Prum Essence Riesling 2009

Riesling from Mosel, Germany
  • WS88
10.5% ABV
  • WE89
  • WS88
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10.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Color: Pale gold.

Bouquet: Aromatic, with scents of apricot and peach.

Taste: Fresh fruit flavors perfectly balanced by a racy acidity and mineral character.

Serving Suggestions: Enjoy on its own or with a range of light appetizers and seafood dishes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator
A racy style, featuring crisp mineral and apple flavors that are backed up by plenty of fresh acidity. The juicy finish is spicy and well-structured. Drink now through 2014.
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S.A. Prum

S.A. Prum

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S.A. Prum, Mosel, Germany
2009 Essence Riesling
Founded in 1911 by Sebastian Alois Prüm, family-owned S.A. Prüm has been in the hands of Raimund Prüm, head winemaker and Sebastian's grandson, since 1971 when he assumed full management of the estate. The property has earned a reputation as one of Germany's most successful wineries, internationally acclaimed for its production of superb quality Riesling. The Prüm family has a rich and ancient history in the mid-Mosel, where they have owned vineyards in the towns of Bernkastel, Graach, Wehlen and Zeltingen.

Today, the estate comprises 40 acres of vineyards planted principally with Riesling. Over 15 acres of S.A. Prüm's holdings are located within the famed Wehlener Sonnenuhr ("sundial of Wehlen") domain. Named for the historic and well-recognized sundial painted on an outcrop of slate by a Prüm ancestor back in 1842, the incredibly steep Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard is a globally renowned source of what is arguably Germany's finest Riesling. As the name suggests, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, where vines average 80 years and older, benefits from plentiful sunshine – a critical factor in the world's northernmost wine producing country. The soil is comprised of layers of finely decomposed, mineral-rich blue slate that date back approximately 400 million years. Underneath, deep-lying aquifers provide the vines with adequate water during dry periods.

Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines, the Mosel is a region of Germany formerly known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer—named thusly for the three rivers that flow through its dramatic valleys. Geology, climate and topography are paramount here, and the wines produced communicate a distinct sense of place. In addition to being prized for their heat-retaining properties, slate-based soils lend a stony minerality to the wines, contributing to some of the most recognizable terroir in the world. Cool temperatures necessitate the use of the region’s rivers to reflect heat onto the vineyards, and the best wines are made from sites with south or southwest facing slopes to receive sufficient direct sunlight for ripening. The breathtakingly steep slopes that straddle the river banks cannot be worked by machine, contributing to a high cost of labor (and treacherous working conditions).

Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically the sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type, and altitude. These wines, dry or sweet, are distinguished by marked acidity, low alcohol, and intense flavors of wet stone, citrus, and stone fruit. With age, a pleasing aroma of petroleum often develops. The lesser plots are mainly planted with lower-maintenance but relatively neutral varieties like Müller-Thurgau and other German crosses, but Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can perform quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

SOU113656_2009 Item# 105457

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