Fritz Haag 03-30-13By
Fritz Haag produces truly special wines, which combine power, breed & finesse with remarkable ethereal-ness, grandeur, amazing purity & impeccable balance. I try to buy them every year I can, as it is always at the top of my list in particular his Brauneberger Juffer & Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr wines.
Here is what a friend wrote, which better explains their sites–“The classified, top locations of Brauneberger Juffer and Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr extend for about 2 km on the steep, left bank of the Mosel opposite the village of Brauneberg. At present, the estate owns the largest and best portion of the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenur. In addition, the estate also owns the best parts of the Brauneberger Juffer. All sites are 100% Riesling.
The terroir is pure, south-facing slate with fine, weathered Devonian slate, which seems almost “greasy” and is constantly regenerated from below. The Juffer vineyard comprises approx. 32 ha and encloses the top location of Juffer Sonnenuhr with approx. 10.5 ha, which is situated around the rocks of the middle section. With a slope of up to 80% and gentle wave troughs in the vertical, a persistent microclimate develops here, which gives the wine its character. Here, on very fine slatey soil – sometimes deep, sometimes on slate rocks – only the Riesling grape grows, which gives the wine great mineral and unmistakable potential“.
At the helm of this illustrious, iconic estate for many years was Wlhelm Haag. He has crafted some of the world’s most masterful, pedigreed wines. In fact, over the 35 plus years of tasting wines, the 1976 Fritz Haag Gold Kapsule Auslese “Brauneberger Juffer” is without a doubt one of the most memorable wines I have ever had.
In short it was glorious!…a perfect wine if there ever was one for me. Full of truly amazing, mesmerizing purity, pedigree & filigree from beginning to end & with the ability to keep opening up more & more with air time…. to the point of being endless.
I thank my best friends Nunzio & Joanne Alioto as well as German wine master Rudi Wiest for sharing their bottles with me. I was also fortunate to find this once relatively undiscovered gem in the most unusual places & sites to purchase. I can, for example, clearly remember a day when Nunzio & I saw a few bottles for sale back in the late 1980’s at a cheese shop in Carmel, California just sitting on a barrel & the remainder in a nearby bin. Needless to say, we bought those.
2010 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Long Gold Kapsule Auslese
Today Wilhelm Haag’s son, Oliver runs the estate & from what we have tasted, Fritz Haag still reigns at the top, without skipping a beat, as was displayed by this wine. The incredible intensity, concentration, filagree & structure of this wine seems so effortless, to the point of being mind boggling & magical. Why can’t more producers do this? It seemed, however, quite a shame to drink this so young. We only opened it because one of the tasters had never had a Fritz Haag wine before, & this was the only one I had handy. Despite the star studded line-up of wines opened on this particular night, this was without a doubt THE STAR……..BY FAR! One just has to be patient & wait 30 years or so for it to blossom like the 1976 did.
First of all, I must say, a Magnum of German Riesling is quite impressive to see. …..especially when it has the Fritz Haag name on it. This 11 year old Riesling was gorgeous & glorious. The apparent sweetness had begun to change to a more tactile creaminess on the palate. The minerality is again shining gloriously through with seamless-ness, surreal breed/pedigree & completeness from beginning to end & an utterly amazing long finish. I am always blown away at the wines from this iconic winemaking master & here is another example of why.
1995 Fritz Haag Long Kapsule Auslese “Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr”
For me, this was truly the wine of the night (white or red). Majestic, breathtaking, aristocratic. Remarkably, the apparent sweetness has greatly changed into a more tactile creaminess with the 17 years of bottle age….AND, the minerality & magnificent breed is absolutely sensational!!!!!! This is the kind of character, style & pedigree we all dream about sampling.