Fritz HAAG (Mosel) -- 2015

Wilhelm Haag, father of Olivier, compared the vintage with 1975, a great vintage for those who do not remember. There was rain in mid-September and then an Indian summer that permitted repeated trips in the vineyards. The grapes at harvest were very healthy, with botrytis where it was desired. Overall, the harvest here lasted 3-1/2 to 4 weeks.

There was no chaptalization and there were still two Trockenbeerenauslesen in the barrel when I visited that I could not taste.

In news of the estate, it bought what Wilhelm has called the best vineyard in Mühlheim (opposite the river from Lieser), and the grapes are already included in the 2015 estate Riesling. Wilhelm said that the vineyard is very steep.

Without a doubt, Olivier has hit a home run with this vintage


2015 Riesling trocken
Just to clarify, for the letter grades, I use the same rating for all dry (trocken) wines. So when a simple Riesling trocken gets 90 points, it’s a really big deal. The wine is floral in the nose and quite powerful. The mouth is round with slate flavors that are penetrating and long. There’s a slight creaminess here. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 02 16. 11.5%.  90/B+

2015 Brauneberger Riesling trocken “J"
This wine comes from the Juffer vineyard, but the “J" is for Jessica, one of Olivier Haag’s children. This wine is more closed in the nose than the Riesling trocken, with stony and dusty aromas that will develop into fruit in the coming years. The mouth is round and creamy with peach flavors that are long and show good complexity. The finish is quite long. 7.2 g/l residual sugar. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 17 16.  91/A-

2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling trocken GG
This wine is crisp and incisive with blue slate fruit and good acidity and incisiveness. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 24 16. 12.0% stated alcohol. 92+/A

2015 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling trocken GG
The Juffer-Sonnenuhr GG is strongly mineral in the nose. The mouth is intense, pure, and focused with Juffer-Sonnenuhr tension, and creaminess to the yellow fruits. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 08 16. 13.0% stated alcohol. 94/A

2015 Brauneberger Riesling (feinherb)
“Feinherb" is a designation used by many producers for a wine that is off-dry. There is no legal definition, but generally the wines have more residual sugar than is permitted for a wine labelled "trocken" and not as much as for a Kabinett today (but Wilhem Haag says that this wine is what wines labelled Kabinett were like in the 1950s and 1960s)s. Sourced from both the Juffer-Sonnenuhr and Juffer vineyards, the wine has a steely nose. The mouth is off-dry and round with slate flavors. It is light and easy to drink — a good wine for sitting on the terrace or as an aperitif. 11.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 04 16. 88/B

2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling (feinherb)
This wine was originally destined to be part of the Juffer GG, but the fermentation stuck. The superiority of the parcel that this wine came from to those for the previous wines is quite clear. There’s plenty of body here, and the wine is round and sensual  with deep, mineral golden fruit and a silky texture. 13 g/l residual sugar, the wine is fairly dry. 12.0% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 19-16. 92/A

2015 Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett
The blue slate soils come through in the stony nose here that is mineral and intense. The mouth is round and has some creaminess. The mouth is clear in its apple fruit. 9.2 g/l acidity here. 8.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 03 16.  92/A

2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spätlese
Here we have golden fruit in the nose. The mouth is round, apply, and medium-sweet with good length. It is classic Juffer Spätlese. 7.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 05 16. 93/A

2015 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
The nose here is much more closed than that of the Juffer Spätlese. The mouth is cream and smooth in the relaxed style of the vintage. There’s good depth here to go with fruit that centers around dark and golden plums. 7.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 07 16. 93+/A

2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Auslese
This wine is sweet, intense, concentrated, balanced, and incisive. The flavors are lime, slate, and apples. Excellent sugar/acid balance. 10.2 g/l acidity. 7.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 20 16. 95/A

2015 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
There is a small amount of botrytis in this wine. The nose displays slate aromas. The mouth is light, clear, and pure with apple fruit, good length, and it shows some tension. 10 g/l acidity. 7.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 06 16. 95+/A

2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule
Here the nose is quite deep with brown sugar aromas. The mouth is clear with finesse, liveliness, and length to go with caramelized apple fruit. The acidity keeps the wine from being overly sweet. This wine is bottled only in 375 ml bottles. 135 g/l residual sugar, 12.5 g/l acidity. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 22 16.  96/A+

2015 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule
Here there is lots of botrytis with the caramelized apple aromas and flavors. The mouth is nervy, pure, long, and deep, but like the Juffer Gold Cap, not overly sweet due to the acidity. There is a dense texture, yet the wine remains light on the palate. And the length is truly notable. Harvested at about 130º Oe, the acidity here is 10.8 g/l, the residual sugar a little above that for the Juffer Gold Cap. 7.5% stated alcohol. Last digits of A.P. Nr.: 09 16. 97+/A+

The final two wines were tasted from cask samples when I visited the estate:

2015 Bruaneberger Juffer Riesling Beerenauslese
This wine is extremely dense, pure, and deep with apple tart flavors and tremendous length. (95-99)

2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
This wine is even more intense and deep than the BA, and accordingly, weightier on the palate. Harvested at about 190º Oe. (96-99)