The filigreed 2020 vintage generated some stunning dry Riesling ... among which this dry beauty by Julian Haart.
The 2020 growing season was hot and dry and the harvest season mostly cloudy and rainy: The result is a unique vintage with incredible lightness, filigreed precision, subtlety, and a dash of ripeness.
Our preview of 2020 dry German Riesling underlined the potential but also the limitations of the vintage. B ut one thing is clear: Few dry German Riesling will match the immaculate quality of the stunning 2020er Wintricher Ohligsberg by Julian Haart.
A sibling of the famous Haart family in Piesport (he is related to Johannes Haart from Weingut Reinhold Haart, though most closely through their respective mothers’ side rather than through the Haart line), young Weingut Julian Haart managed to make a (fore)name for himself in a record short amount of time, turning out some stunning wines right from his 2010 debut vintage (see Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 16 of June 2011) for the Estate Review of his first vintage. It is no surprise that this Estate's wines regularly made it as Issue highlights, including its 2013er Wintricher Ohligsberg Spätlese in July 2014, its >2014er Piesporter Schubertslay Kabinett in September 2015, and its >2018er Piesporter in August 2019.
2020 was again a challenging vintage in which the attention for lightness and freshness were paramount, as Julian Haart explained: “We got again a very warm and hot summer in 2020, as we had in the two previous vintages. Again, I did not want to have ripe and opulent wines and decided to start the harvest early, in mid-September. Oechsle degrees were already very good and acidity levels were also still high enough. We started by bringing in grapes for our Kabinett and entry level wines. The weather proved very good and we could continue with our selections for our top dry wines as well as our Spätlese, pretty much avoiding the rains which came in at the end of the month. The bottled wines prove really superb and I particularly like my Kabinett wines, which show a lot of freshness and purity, in this vintage.”
All his efforts paid handsomely and Julian Haart was able to produce a simply incredible array of dry Riesling (among which this incredible Ohligsberg) and fruity-styled wines in 2020.
Haart is synonym with Piesport (the roots of the family go back centuries here) … and yet. Before taking over much of the Joh. Haart Estate, Julian Haart’s holdings had been exclusively situated in the Wintricher Ohligsberg, where he was able to take over some prime parcels in 2010.
Julian has a soft spot for this extremely steep and west to south-exposed vineyard: “The vineyard always sees a breeze of cool air and is well protected from hot weather conditions. Also its soil made of slate and quartz is quite striking.”
This portfolio out of this vineyard was limited to a dry wine, a Kabinett, and a Spätlese: “Yields were dramatically low in 2020 and only reached 5 hl/ha [Editor’s note: yes, you read it correctly, there is no typo, it is only five hl/ha], so we have only tiny quantities of each wine and could not produce a full line-up from the Ohligsberg.”
The 2020er Ohligsberg was pressed with an old basket press (Korbkelter) over days and then slowly cold fermented and matured in one stainless-steel tank.
The result is simply stunning and one of the finest dry Riesling we have tasted from anywhere in Germany this year. The combination of precision, elegant, and finesse are simply hard to believe.
Unfortunately, as so often with truly stellar wines, quality is inversely proportional to quantities. The available quantities are tiny. However, we can only encourage you to look into finding the importer of this Estate’s wines into your neck of the world and try to get hold of some bottles of Riesling from Julian Haart: You will be in for a truly remarkable experience.
The stunning 2020 collection of Julian Haart
was reviwed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 58 (September 2021).
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Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling
The 2020er Ohligsberg, as it is referred to on the red and silver consumer label, is a bone-dry wine made from fruit picked on almost century-old vines. It offers a most beautiful and complex nose with plenty of elegance and finesse. Scents of white flowers, cardamom, white pepper, lavender, cassis, pear, herbs, and mint come out of the glass. The wine is elegant and very delicate on the palate and leaves one with a fantastic sense of cut, energy, and salty elements in the finish. The aftertaste is beautifully focused, bone-dry, salty, and spicy. This wine is without doubt a strong candidate for dry Riesling of the vintage. 2024-2040
© 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.