Those familiar with J J Prum's wines, will no doubt have come across the Gold Capsule wines. These wines are labelled exactly the same way as the white capped wines, so what does the gold mean?
Gold Capsule wines are not defined by German laws, but rather are used by estates to distinguish their higher quality wines. An Auslese wine, for example, can have sugar levels ranging from somewhere near a Spatlese at the lower end, right up to a Beerenauslese at the upper limits. So when a wine is called simply Auslese, how do we know where it sits on the sweetness/botrytis scale?
For Prum, this is where the Gold Caps come in. Think of them as small batch releases that represent the best parcels from each vintage, only produced in the best vintages.
Bernkastel is the town and Lay is an old word for slate. It is this blue/grey slate that typifies this vineyard and the wines that are produced from it. The dark coloured slate is not only known for it's mineral influence in the wines but also the warmth it holds in the vineyard throughout the night. The vineyard sits on a steep south-south-west slope meaning it receives sunlight throughout the entire day. These are the main factors that lead to wines from Bernkasteler Lay being ripe, intense and rich. The Auslese Gold Cap was the only Prum wine produced from this vineyard in 2017.
STEPHEN REINHARDT - WINE ADVOCATE
The 2017 Bernkasteler Lay Auslese (Gold Capsule), AP 16 18, is generous and intense on the nose, with weathered slate and super ripe Riesling aromas. On the palate, this is a smooth, lush, generous and highly refined Auslese, but it's not as concentrated or as sweet as the other Gold Capsule bottlings; if you think of an orchestra, this wine is the strings rather than the whole orchestra with timpani and trumpets. Tasted in March 2019.