'Few estates in the world can claim to have maintained the highest quality standards uninterrupted for half a century and more. Joh Jos Prüm, the most famous of the many Mosel wine estates bearing the Prüm name, is one estate that can. Since the early 1920’s its wines have been among Germany’s best, Rieslings with the Mosel’s vivacious aroma and racy elegance in its highest form.'
Stuart Pigott, The Wine Atlas of Germany
So what is the secret to the quality of the J.J. Prüm wines? How is it that they differ so much in style and quality from the wines of most other Mosel producers? The answer, as always, lies mostly in the vineyards, backed up by winemaking of the highest order.
Great sites, old vines, the lowest yields, very late harvesting and selection of only the best berries. In the winery the winemaking is as natural as possible with as little intervention as possible. The wines typically need several years to start showing their best and can live and develop for decades.
Generally speaking, the later the harvest, the longer the wine can live, so Spatlese is more age worthy than Kabinett, Auslese more so than Spatlese, and so on.
Bernkasteler Badstube is the last of the vineyard sites that can appear on a J.J. Prum label. This vineyard borders those of the Graacher Himmelreich on the latter’s southern edge. The Bernkasteler Badstube slopes are on a marginally shallower gradient, with deeper soils than the Graacher and Wehlener, while the western orientation allows the vines longer exposure to the afternoon sun. The Badstube typically produces a wonderfully floral, delicate and mineral wine. Overall, the wines are usually slightly more delicate in structure and weight when compared with the wines of Graacher or Wehlener but they are wonderfully racy and fine examples of the middle Mosel.
STEPHEN REINHARDT - WINE ADVOCATE
The 2017 Bernkasteler Badstube Auslese is very intense and upfront on the reductive, flinty and even coolish nose. Extremely lush and round on the palate, this is a concentrated, silky-textured and incredibly juicy Auslese that you can hardly stop drinking. This 2017 Badstube is a hedonist's Auslese, and its finish is long, salty, fresh and precise. It's so rich and so stimulating at the same time. You'll wish you could take a bath in it. Dangerous stuff. Tasted in March 2019.
ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA - THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
Silken layers of honey and tropical fruit burst from this light-footed yet powerfully fruity Auslese. It's lip-smackingly sweet and palate clinging but balanced zestfully by streaks of lime and lemon. Spicy mineral tones and hints of chestnut-pith linger long on the finish. It's a lovely wine already but likely to meld and improve through 2035.