MOSEL VALLEY - GERMANY
“Not many wine careers can have started off on a more superlative level than Haart’s, yet from my several conversations with him I am convinced that his perfectionism goes hand in hand with rigorous self-criticism that should preclude success going to his head.”
David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate
Based in Piesport, in the heartland of the Mosel Valley, Julian Haart is the young star of German winemaking. His wine education could scarcely have been more illustrious, working with Heymann-Löwenstein for a year, Emrich-Schönleber for two and a half years, Egon Müller for a year, and Klaus Peter Keller for three years.
On his return to Piesport, he took over a small half-hectare plot in the Wintricher Ohligsberg, planted with century-old vines, followed by a hectare in the Piesporter Schubertslay, a unique plot with vines planted in 1904 on original rootstocks. Because it is so rocky, it escaped the Flurbereinigung of 1992, when vineyard holdings were rationalised, new roads built and an enormous amount of replanting was done.
The estate has grown to a little more than four hectares and this is, roughly, where Julian wants it to stay. Part of the joy of winemaking, for Julian, is doing everything himself, or with his wife Nadine, or with some friends. This is vineyard work, and winemaking, at the most human scale. Nearly everything must be done by hand – most of the vineyards are steep as hell and most of them are terraced. Even walking through them is a bit hazardous.
His goal is to make superlative dry wines, but they are brilliant and elegant across the entire range. He is striving for vineyard expression rather than just fruit; fermentation is allowed to start naturally, and the cellar temperature is kept at a steady 20ºC. Terroir shines through!
Julian Haart Riesling Mosel Ohligsberg Kabinett (White Label) 2020
100 points, James Suckling - "Hang on to your hat and switch on your brain, because it's really hard to fully grasp this incredibly wild and totally original Mosel riesling. Somehow – I can't begin to explain it ! –this seems to defy gravity by showing radical and dark minerality, yet there’s a weightless feel on the extremely straight and precise palate. Drink or hold."
Julian Haart Riesling Mosel Goldtropfchen Kabinett (White Label) 2020
98 points, James Suckling - "Like a diamond in a ray of light, each facet sparkling a different colour. Extraordinary complexity with a thousand shades of berry fruit. Mind-blowing, sensual interplay of that delicate fruit with acidity gives it quasar-like brilliance. Wonderful white-tea and crushed-slate character at the expansive finish. From 100-year-old vines with a yield of just 15 hectoliters per hectare. Drink or hold."
Julian Haart Riesling Mosel Ohligsberg 2020
97 points, James Suckling - "Pristine Amalfi-lemon and red-apple nose that's extremely youthful and very slowly opens to reveal citrus-blossom and wild-herb notes. This is so mineral that it almost hurts. So much drive and energy that it nearly knocks you off your chair. Very long, star-bright finish. Drinkable now, but best from 2023."
Julian Haart Riesling Mosel Goldtropfchen 2020
96 points, James Suckling - "You have been warned! The very complex, fresh lemon-balm, preserved-lemon and savoury nose pulls you into this seriously concentrated and totally focused palate that has samurai-sword sharpness and brilliance. Diamond-bright finish. From 90-year-old vines. Drink or hold."
Julian Haart Riesling Mosel Goldtropfchen Kabinett 2020
96 points, James Suckling - "The dangerous coolness of a glacier, combined with astonishing lemon-zest freshness and a jet-black minerality. Yes, this has light body, high acidity and a judicious amount of natural grape sweetness, but those parameters don't really describe what makes this wine extraordinary. Intense dried-flower character at the very linear finish. Drink or hold."
Julian Haart Riesling Rheinhessen Frauenberg 2020
95 points, James Suckling - "Some bread-dough and pie-crust character from the long sur-lie maturation, but the other aromas (particularly the pear fruit) are very reserved, because this has been built for the long term. Concentrated and fleshy with restrained mirabelle and white-cherry fruit. Chalky minerality underlines the long, dark finish, where there's a hint of espresso beans. Drinkable now, but best from 2023."
Julian Haart Riesling Mosel Piesporter 2020
94 points, James Suckling - "Extremely high-definition nose of citrus and savoury elements. Very concentrated for a village wine, with razor-sharp minerality. Not a hint of the baroque character that this location often gives. Super-bright finish with a delicate tannin structure that supports this beautifully. Drinkable now, but best from 2022."