1st Vintage of a Mosel Phenom: Introducing Julian Haart

Posted by Joe Salamone

Mosel Phenom: First Vintage in U.S.
2011 Julian Haart
The U.S. Premiere
Julian Haart, even at his young age, even with only 1.5 hectares and even with this being his first real vintage, is something of a phenom.

Considering the landscape of German wine over the last ten years, it's hard to think of a young producer who has come to such prominence as quickly as the young, very gifted Julian Haart.

While there is tremendous buzz in Germany, among merchants, wine critics and the geeky German-wine insiders, David Schildknecht has to be given credit for first bringing these wines to American attention.

Wintricher Ohligsberg

He has written:"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. Hopefully, despite their small production, the wines of this member of the prevalent Haart family will show up stateside sooner rather than later."

Well, the wines of Julian Haart are here, but they are WILDLY limited.

While these are Rieslings that no German wine lover/collector should miss, please keep in mind that Julian farms only 1.5 hectares and the TOTAL U.S. allocation was about 30 cases. Give us your maximum order and we will allocate as best we can.

The focus here is on "dry tasting" Rieslings and the real estate is as hallowed as it gets: Piesporter Goldtröpchen and Wintricher Ohligsberg. Many compare the general style of Julian Haart to AJ Adam (which is logical enough, see below), and there are indeed a lot of similarities - a certain Baroque exuberance, saturating ripe fruit that runs the gamut from kiwi to mango to green apple and lime.

These are complex wines and they develop profoundly in the glass/bottle. They are enormously deep and tactile dry-tasting Rieslings, with a concentration that is intense, yet NEVER overshadows the soil/mineral expression, which is key. The Piesporter is powerful and gushing with glazed fruit and beautiful soil tones. This is the richer and more plush of the two; the Wintricher is a monument to blue slate, spring water and lime zest.

And although these are labeled as simple "village-level" wines please keep in mind that they come from serious parcels that are every bit Grand Cru. The Piesporter is sourced from the Goldtröpchen and from vines in the Schubertslay (this tiny parcel includes vines planted in 1905); the Wintricher is sourced 100% from the towering blue-slate wall that is the Ohligsberg.

Julians biography is colorful and informative, so we'll indulge a bit today: Dropping out of school to learn cooking, Julian ended up working at GästeHaus Klaus Erfort, one of the finest restaurants in Germany. The kitchen led him to wine and very quickly, Julian decided to throw himself into wine. His roster of wine apprenticeships is nothing short of unbelievable: Egon Müller, Klaus Peter Keller, Werner Schönleber and Rheinhard Löwenstein.

Keller remains one of Julian's strongest and most influential advocates though it's worth noting that if you've ever had the Goldtröpchen "GG" from AJ Adam, you've tasted what has to be considered (at least somewhat) a Julian Haart wine. Indeed, Julian and Andreas are great friends and they purchased, 50/50, the old-vine, terraced parcel in the Goldtröpchen from where this wine comes. In past years Haart's surname has been on the back label - it is only with the 2011 vintage that you'll see Haart's name right there on the front, next to Adam.

This is, clearly, only the beginning of the Julian Haart story - this is but the first vintage. However, there are few careers that have begun at this level and the proof is in the bottle. The only problem is, there are very, VERY few bottles to go around.

Please give us your maximum order and we'll do our best. Keep in mind it's the weekend and we might not get back to you until Monday to confirm your order. Thanks!

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits