This highlight from our extensive 1997 Riesling retrospective delivers almost everything one can expect from a refined Auslese GK.
Mature Riesling is one of the great pleasures of the wine world. This is why, every year, we dedicate the Spring Issue of Mosel Fine Wines to this topic in a bid to have our readers try it for themselves.
In the just released Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 34 (Apr 2017), we reviewed over 90 wines from the 1997 vintage, a mature vintage which proves pretty much the dream of any Mosel wine lover coming through.
One of the highlights of this retrospective proved to be the sublime 1997er Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese GK Fuder 9 by Fritz Haag.
Weingut Fritz Haag is one of the great historic Estates in the Mosel which has been producing highly acclaimed Riesling ever since its ancestor, Peter Christian Conrad-Fehres, took the Auction market by storm back in the 1870s.
It is during the tenure of Wilhelm Haag, the still youthful and jovial senior boss at Fritz Haag, that the Estate developed its distinctive style. This relies on raciness and precision, enhanced by a distinctive touch of citrus-scented whipped cream (which often proves a giveaway in blind tastings). This style runs particularly through the Fritz Haag wines from the 1990s.
The "Fuder number" has its importance at Fritz Haag as the Estate regularly produced different casks of Auslese GK with slightly different stylistic directions (i.e. with more or less botrytis).
At first, these different bottlings of Auslese GK were only differentiated by the AP Number, later the reference to a "Fuder Number" was added in small print. As of the 1998 vintage, the Estate settled for the denominations “Fuder 9” and “Fuder 12”, whereby the Fuder 9 (called #9 nowadays) is typically made from grapes with lesser botrytis impact and the Fuder 12 (#12 today) with more botrytis impact.
In 1997, as Wilhelm Haag explained, "there was not much botrytis, so we only produced one regular cask of Auslese GK (next to an auction lot)." This 1997er Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese GK Fuder 9 plays on the purity of the vintage and adds this racy precision that has made the fame of Fritz Haag wines. This is simply a brilliant wine.
Should you not have this particular Auslese at hand, overall, Fritz Haag proved hugely successful during that decade: We have yet to have an Auslese from the 1990s which is short of outstanding.
The full 1997 retrospective with more more than 90 Riesling retasted
was published in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 34 (Apr 2017).
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Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese GK Fuder 9
This golden-colored beauty exhibits a simply breathtakingly refined nose blending ripe yellow peach, pineapple and honey with fresher scents of cassis, elderflower and mint. Even if one can almost smell the high level of ripeness of the grapes, what comes out of the glass is simply pure elegance. The wine is still comparatively sweet on the palate, where superb, honeyed and creamy yellow fruits are wrapped into a smooth and delicate texture. The finish is intense and incredibly long. This is an absolutely smashing Auslese GK success from the Fritz Haag Estate, and one which only slowly enters its maturity window now. Now-2047
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.