Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jodocus Prüm's Birthday Party

Today is the 202nd birthday of Jodocus Prüm. The reason I am cognizant of this highly obscure fact is because a couple of years ago on this date, I had the extraordinary and unexpected privilege of attending a celebration commemorating his 200th, which was an inebriating, wildly surreal and thoroughly delightful experience.

Jodocus Prüm was a brother of Sebastian Alois Prüm, who was the grandfather of Johann Josef Prüm, as well as seven or eight other siblings from whom the various Prüm lines have descended. (Johann Josef Prüm, of course, is the founder of the renowned wine estate in Germany’s Mosel Valley that continues to bear his name today.) A lifelong bachelor, Jodocus used his money to fund many public projects, including building the actual sundials in the vineyards of Wehlener and Zeltinger Sonnenuhr (the name Sonnenuhr means sundial), and today he is a revered figure in the Mosel community.

So to celebrate his birthday, the Prüms threw a family party.

The Wehlener Sonnenuhr

I happened to be in the Mosel with my friend Kirk at the time, recovering from a hangover at the Dr. Loosen estate after the annual Mosel auctions. The Loosens are part of the Prüm clan (I think Erni Loosen’s great-grandmother was Joh. Jos. Prüm’s sister or something like that, but I’m still a bit hazy on the details), so as Kirk and I were still lounging about the Mosel taking up space, Erni invited us to come along to the event in the village of Wehlen. Kirk and I were a bit skeptical about crashing a private gathering of one of the most legendary families in the wine world, but as Erni was one of the primary organizers of the whole thing, he said not to worry about it.

Having the distinction of being one of only two people present who weren’t either descended from or married to somebody named Prüm, I naturally felt a bit out of place and slightly awestruck. With his Teutonic looks and Swabian blood, Kirk might pass for a distant member of the clan (he had actually been mistaken on the street for a Bergweiler earlier in the day), but there wasn’t going to be much of a chance of me, a skinny Asian guy, casually blending in. Everyone was pretty much staring at me wondering what the hell I was doing there, but once Dr. Manfred Prüm, grandson of Johann Josef and proprietor of the Joh. Jos. Prüm estate, came over to me and said how he’d been trying to get a chance to talk to me for the whole week (we’d seen each other in passing at several different events), I think most people were satisfied. As for the ones who kept asking, eventually Erni’s wife Eva started telling people that I was from a long-lost, illegitimate branch of the family, which of course sparked a lively debate as to which one of the Prüms might have originated it.

It could have been a plausible idea—apparently there hadn’t been such a comprehensive gathering of the extended family for something like 100 years, so who was to know? Dr. Prüm admitted to me that even he had forgotten who some of these people were. Waiting for the dust to settle as four generations of Prüms, Bergweilers, Loosens, Weils and other branches of the vast Prüm family tree crowded into the large dining room, I happily found myself seated next to Katerina Prüm, Manfred’s daughter, who also happened to be holding a bottle of 2004 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett, saving me from the Peter Nicolay feinherb that I’d politely been pretending to be drinking. Many bottles of various wines continued to flow ceaselessly through a rapid dinner, followed by several long-winded speeches about items pertaining to Jodocus, his birthday, his legacy, and perhaps even to nothing at all. Katerina valiantly attempted to translate the proceedings for me, but they soon became so boring that even she stopped listening. I did catch the lament, though, that the name Jodocus was sadly out of fashion, and that perhaps something ought to be done about it. Eventually, however, everyone decided that drinking was better than talking, and people began dispersing to dip into the myriad coolers of wine lying all about the place. I got up to go look around and maybe find Kirk.

Erni suddenly materialized out of nowhere, thrusting a glass at me. It was brown, a little cloudy, and smelled and tasted rather like a lightly sweet manzanilla amontillado. I opined that maybe it was just a little bit weird. “Yeah,” he said, “it’s the ’37 Wehlener Sonnenuhr BA from Weins-Prüm.” Well, then. Clearly we weren’t hanging out in the right section of the party. Kirk and I wandered outside to where a cluster of people were gathered around Jost Prüm, the eldest brother of Manfred. (His real name is Johann Josef, like his grandfather, so with a name like that you can be sure he drinks well.) We arrived just in time to see him opening a bottle of Joh. Jos. Prüm 1949 Wehlener Sonnenuhr feinste Auslese. “Now things are really interesting,” said Kirk. “You’ve got no idea,” said Christoph, a cousin of Erni’s. “We’re only getting started.”

He wasn’t kidding. The next four or five hours were occupied by bottle after bottle, emanating in stately, copious array from the blessed and magical Prüm refrigerator. I particularly remember a J.J. Prüm ’59 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr feine Auslese, which showed a lively freshness and intense notes of slate under the soft, voluptuous richness of the vintage. Even screaming Prüm children running about tumultuously underfoot could not distract me from the glory of that wine, and it wasn’t even the wine of the night. The wine of the night was the J.J. Prüm Wehlener-Zeltinger Sonnenuhr feinste Auslese from 1969, with a piercing, impossibly fine clarity and ethereally fragrant finish. The richly concentrated, masculine J.J. Prüm 1971 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese goldkapsel heralded a whole parade of ’71s: a Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese from Zacharias Bergweiler-Prüm (Erni’s family); the even better Kaseler Nies’chen Spätlese from the same estate, with its laser-like Ruwer acidity; a stunningly youthful and vibrant Joh. Christoffel-Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese. I’ve forgotten many other wines in the hazy riesling blur.

At 10pm there was a massive display of fireworks over the Wehlener Sonnenuhr across the river that echoed like artillery in the tight confines of the Mosel Valley, and as I stumbled around the corner of the village’s 17th-century church to get a better view, I was accosted by Dr. Peter Pauly (of the Pauly-Bergweiler estate, from another branch of descendants), brandishing a delicious bottle of Erdener Prälat 1971 Auslese from Christoffel-Prüm. As the incendiaries subsided, Jost reassembled his flock like Moses leading his people to the Promised Land, pouring an amazingly fresh and primary 1976 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Beerenauslese from Zacharias Bergweiler-Prüm, which I sipped while listening to Bettina Prüm, sister of Katerina and daughter of Manfred, explain to me her doctoral thesis on the sticky part on bugs’ feet that allows them to cling to different surfaces. (!) God knows what else I drank. Eventually I was pretty trashed, and pretty cold in the crisp September evening as well, and was about to suggest to Kirk that we call it a night when Jost announces in a booming voice that it’s time for another ’49. Hell, yeah. This one was the “regular” Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese from J.J. Prüm, which showed even more freshness and primary fruit than the feinste Auslese, if not seeming quite as long or as highly structured. Freakishly great wine.

By this time it was around two in the morning, and Kirk needed to be at the Frankfurt airport by eight. We made a slow round of good-byes, drinking quite a few other wines in that process, and eventually ending up bidding farewell to our host, Jost Prüm. He protested our leaving, clearly disappointed in our stamina, but extended a hearty handshake to each of us, inviting us back for a future Prüm-a-thon. “Next time you come,” he said, “we’ll drink old wines.”


Lyle Fass said...

I may be bias, but I think this is my favorite piece you have ever written. I was transported back there. Not to the party but to all the magical times I have had in Wehlen and hanging with Katherina. Awesome, Awesome post Peter and I will link it as it deserves to be linked.

Peter Liem said...

Thanks, Lyle! Much appreciated.

Wine Maker Jeff said...

What a beautiful picture...It truly is a picture of freedom, the hills, the trees, the grape fields, the little hut near the water :)

E said...

Just brilliant.

Lyle Fass said...

Linked! With a picture of the WS from Bert Selbach's front window.

juicyo said...

yellow jazz is so sexy. i am happy to know her and have her on te knobb. - mark your neighbor.

Mandy Chan said...

Hi Peter,

I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and once in a blue moon I am able to read a few of your posts. Your writing is great and my husband and I identify with it in a lot of ways. This post was especially interesting as we just bought a collection of wines that had quite a few JJ Prums and not ever experiencing one (yet) it was exciting to see you write about them! Great fun.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Kind regards, Mandy Chan

Richard Jennings said...

Hey, that's my birthday too.
That's a memorable event, and you've described it beautifully. With the fireworks and all, it reminds me of the birthday party for Bilbo Baggins that opens The Lord of the Rings. And Bilbo's (and Frodo's) birthday was also -- wait for it -- September 22!

Peter Liem said...

Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! Really? I didn't remember that at all. That's outstanding. And happy belated birthday to you, too!

Nancy Deprez said...

Oh I love it! Next time you come we'll drink old wines, LOL! Thank you for sharing this lovely experience. I'll email the link to Katarina Prum!

Jack Everitt said...

Peter, "J.J. Prüm ’59 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr feine Auslese" - this is the bottle I need to celebrate my 50th birthday in November. :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Thao Nguyen said...

OZ Bên cạnh việc chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ trọn gói thiết kế và thi cong noi that , thi công nha othi cong van phongthi cong shopthi cong karaoke , thi cong nha hang, thi cong khach san, thi cong resort, thi cong spa, công ty còn chuyên sản xuất các mặt hàng đồ gỗ nội thất cao cấp trong nước và xuất khẩu.

Công ty có một đội ngũ nhân sự bao gồm kiến trúc sư, cử nhân mỹ thuật công nghiệp lành nghề và yêu nghề. OZ luôn đưa ra những sản phẩm thiết kế nha dep, biet thu dep, nha pho dep, can ho dep, nha ong dep , phong khach dep,  phong ngu dep, sáng tạo đồng thời phù hợp với khả năng đầu tư của khách hàng. Bên cạnh đó còn thực hiện ý tưởng của quý khách hàng trong thời gian nhanh nhất với chất lượng tốt nhất thông qua các kiến trúc sư nhiều năm kinh nghiệm.

Phụ tùng ô tô huyndai
ba đờ sốc
Phu tung oto ford
Phu tung oto Toyota
Phu tung oto kia
Phu tung oto Mitsubishi
Phu tung oto honda
ba do soc
phụ tùng ô tô Hàn Quốc
Phụ tùng ô tô mazda
Phụ tùng ô tô Daewoo
Hoàng Gia là thương hiệu wedding và tổ chức các sự kiện đặc biệt hàng đầu tại Việt Nam, luôn sáng tạo và đi đầu với những ý tưởng phông sân khấu cưới vad dịch vụ tổ chức cưới cưới độc đáo, ấn tượng

do be said...

Việc quảng cáo thông tin công ty cũng như các sự kiện nổi bật thì các công ty thực hiện nhiều chiến dịch quảng cáo khác nhau và một trong số đấy là sử dụng dịch vụ treo bang ron gia re. Đây là một những hình thức thực hiện marketting truyền thống thinh hành nhất hiện nay khi dịch vụ in bang ron gia re ngày càng phát triển.
Tuy nhiên để chọn được một đơn vị in ấn để tạo ra được băng rôn có chất lượng tốt như thế không phải là điều dễ dàng. Bài viết dưới đây sẽ gợi ý cho bạn một địa chỉ tin cậy in bang ron gia re là công ty Song Đỉnh.
Khi sử dụng dịch vụ in ấn tại Công ty in Song Đỉnh thì băng rôn của bạn sẽ có những ưu điểm nổi bật sau:
Băng rôn có độ bền cao, có thể sử dụng được nhiều lần trong những điều kiện thời tiết khắc nghiệt: băng rôn không bị bạc màu do trời nắng và cũng không bị xé rách do gió to.
Hệ thống máy in bang ron hiện đại và có tốc độ cao nên chất lượng màu sắc và hình ảnh của băng rôn của được đảm bảo. Đồng thời, khách hàng có thể in băng rôn lấy nhanh nếu có nhu cầu.
Sử dụng băng rôn thì việc bảo quản và sử dụng cũng khá dễ dàng. Bạn có thể gấp băng rôn lại và mang đi mọi nơi (vì khối lượng cũng không quá nặng) mà không sợ bị nhàu hay ảnh hưởng đến chất lượng hình ảnh.
Ngoài ra, Công ty In Song Đỉnh cũng cam kết sẽ cung cấp dịch vụ in bang ron gia re với giá cả cạnh tranh so với mặt bằng chung trên thị trường.Dịch vụ in hiflex gia re, Đặc biệt, nếu bạn đặt in với số lượng lớn thì mức giá sẽ được thỏa thuận sao cho có lợi cho bạn nhất.

Hoàng Minh said...

Ai cũng biết rằng collagen là một loại protein rất tốt cho cơ thể nhằm làm đẹp da , sáng da và ngăn ngừa lão hóa da rất hiệu quả , bổ sung collagen bằng cách nào ?, hiện nay có nhiều cách bổ sung collagen cho da hiệu quả như dùng thực phẩm chức năng , tiêm qua da , và một cách khác là dùng những thực phẩm giúp bổ sung collagen, collagen có nhiều trong loại thực phẩm, thực phẩm bổ sung collagen, collagen rất tốt cho cơ thể sẽ làm biến mất các vết chân chim trên da và kéo dài sự trẻ trung, collagen tự nhiên có trong thực phẩm, thuc pham bo sung collagen, những món ăn nhiều collagen, món ăn chứa nhiều collagen, bổ sung collagen cho da bằng thực phẩm với cách bổ sung collagen bằng các món ăn hay thực phẩm này rất an toàn cho người sử dụng mà không sợ các tác dụng phụ về sau này. Đừng quá lo lắng hay thử ngay như trước khi thử thì nhớ tham khảo ý kiến chuyên da dinh dưỡng trước nhé.

ứng dụng tin học said...

Hi everybody. I'm from Habaco and we have some productions as:

máy thái thịt, máy làm bắp rang bơ, máy hàn miệng túi, Thiết bị Hà Bắc

May no bap rang bo
may lam bap rang bo, may no bap rang bo bang gas, may no bao rang bo mini

Lo quay ga vit
lu quay vit, lu quay vit bang than

May dan mang siu

Narender Godara said...

Packers and movers Bikaner
Packers and movers Chandigarh
Packers and movers Chennai
Packers and movers Cochin

Đào Tạo Vua Bếp said...

thiết kế nội thất chung cư cùng với thiết kế nội thất văn phòng các kiểu mẫu nha dep 2016 hay những mẫu thiết kế nội thất phòng khách ngoài những nội thất chuyên về văn phòng chúng ta còn thi công những mẫu thiet ke noi that shop - thiết kế nội thất showroom. công ty oz có một đội ngũ nhân sự bao gồm kiến trúc sư , cử nhân nghệ thuật công nghiệp lành nghề thiết kế nội thất biệt thự và yêu nghề thiết kế những mẫu nhà đẹp hay thiet ke noi that nha ong

Đào Tạo Vua Bếp said...

thiet ke noi that phong ngu một trong những giải pháp tốt nhất dành cho bạn lựa chọn những yêu cầu cao về nội thất, những kiến trúc sư oz thiết kế nội thất nhà hàng lun muốn tìm cho bạn những ý tưởng thiet ke noi that lounge mới trong thiết kế nội thất phòng bếp mang lai cho bạn không gian thoải mái nhất trước những tác phẩm nghệ thuật của mình lựa chọn như: thiết kế văn phòng những sáng tạo lun được đặt ra và đưa ra hàng thiet ke phong ngu đầu tiên trong những kiến thức thiet ke shop mà chúng tôi có được thiết kế showroom

Đào Tạo Vua Bếp said...

cach lam banh trang tron là một trong những in an quang cao món cực khoái khẩu với người VN. Chúng ta cần tìm ra địa điểm hoc nau an o dau để phát huy khả năng học nấu nướng các món ăn mới như: banh bao chien hay món bun rieu cua ngoài ra còn rất nhiều món ngon khác cach lam ga ran - thi cong quang cao

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