Take a look through the most expensive wines on Wine Searcher and one family name makes a repeated appearance. Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm crafts Rieslings that are standard bearers among wines from Germany’s Mosel region, and their most expensive wines are, of course, those with higher residual sugars (yet crystalline acidic precision) that are only produced when vineyard conditions are just right.
Above is the European Wine Searcher price history for the 1989 Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) from the Sonnenuhr (sundial) vineyard. The sustained price growth is impressive, particularly given the high bottle price: the Beerenauslese (BA) from the same vineyard has an average market price just beyond €1’000, and the Eiswein is pitched slightly below that.
Can these top Rieslings be considered for investment purposes? The main trait is exhibited above: their market value rises as they mature, and these wines are indeed renowned for improving with age over many, many years. Annual production across the estate is around 13,000 cases, which can make finding these wines difficult, especially in markets beyond Europe. Of course, limited supply is yet another important trait.
Riesling is a grape that is, all too often, overlooked by the critics that might usually rank every vintage from well-known producers. Point scores are not always readily available and the quality of a wine is often left to the Prädikat system or, beyond Germany, to more spradic tasters. This remains a risk when considering the development of the Riesling investment market.