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J.J. Prüm
Most commonly known to investable wine collectors the world over as simply “J.J.”, Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm’s nickname reflects the geniality of his wine. The Mosel producer is so highly regarded in fact, that his Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling will regularly top the world’s most expensive wines lists. What makes this particularly interesting is that, as tides turn towards dry, modern wines, J.J.’s sweet white Riesling keeps it traditional.
The holy land
Set in the heart of the Mosel River Valley, J.J.’s fortunes began with the placement of his terroir. Probably the most famous and arguably the most admired wine region of Germany, the valley is next to the prestigious Saar to one side and Ruwer to the other. However, the prime spot belongs to the centre of the valley - or the middle Mosel (mittelmosel). And J.J.’s vineyards are right in the eye of the storm.

Prum family records show that the family have roots dating as far back as 1156 in the region, but did not become winemakers until 1911, when Johann Josef Prüm founded his eponymous estate in 1911. Today the 16-hectare estate is run by J.J.’s grandson and great-granddaughter team, Manfred and Katharina (who, by the way, are both lawyers and were brought into the winery “to help out for the summer”). Contrary to many younger generations who run their family’s wineries, Katharina is not planning on making major changes to her family’s traditional winemaking methods. Basically, if it ‘ain’t broke, she ‘aint fixing it.
Soft, strong and very long
The secret to J.J. Prüm’s success lies undoubtedly in the longevity of his Rieslings, a rarity for white wines. Even the entry level Riesling Kabinett will keep for up to ten years if cellared correctly, while the many top wines from the older vintages from as far back as the 1930s are still drinkable (although extremely difficult to find). It is this magic three: longevity, rarity and quality that has made the vineyard so very, very expensive. Although his Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trokenbeerenauslese has fallen 10 places (from 6th to 16th) in five years on the world’s 50 most expensive wines, it is still valued at almost €5,000 a bottle in Germany, sometimes fetching up to twice that much in the US.
Notable facts and vintages
  • Three of J. J. Prüm’s wines make 2019’s list of most expensive German wines (according to wine-searcher.com); Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, and Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese.
  • A nine bottle lot of 1990 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule sold for nearly €2,900 at auction/Sotheby’s NY in early May 2019, 170-248% above the €1,164 to €1,701 estimate.
  • For investors looking for more value than offered by J. J.’s most expensive wines, 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese with prices averaging less than €50 per bottle in Q2 2019, combined with its 2025 to 2040 drinking window, and favourable scores such as 18.5/20 from Jancis Robinson, this wine offers value indeed - especially considering vintages such as 2009’s (with the same aggregated score of 93) jumped +30% in 2018 alone.