Today’s Story: Weingut Fritz Haag
Weingut Fritz Haag is a historic family-owned wine estate established by the Haag family in 1605 in Brauneberg of the Mosel winegrowing region of Germany. In its more recent “modern” history, Fritz Haag was under the leadership of Wilhelm Haag beginning in 1957 when he returned to help his ill father. An expected one-harvest stay turned into full-time winemaking for Wilhelm, ultimately resulting in exceptional quality wines being produced by the estate which garnered international acclaim and earned Wilhelm the German Winemaker of the Year title in 1994 by Gault Millau’s Guide to German Wines. Wilhelm passed the reins onto his son Oliver in 2005, and he runs the estate to this day with his wife Jessica.
The Fritz Haag estate consists of 19.5 hectares, with the vineyards planted entirely to the Riesling variety on very steep slopes along the Mosel River. As part of their holdings, Fritz Haag owns substantial holdings in the highly regarded Brauneberger Juffer and Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr vineyards which produce their highest quality fruit for the Grosses Gewächs wines and Prädikatswein. Fritz Haag produces a range of Rieslings, going from dry all the way to sweet wines made with botrytis-affected grapes but they keep production to around 5,500 cases per year with mild fluctuations due to vintage conditions.
To preserve the pronounced aroma and flavor characteristics of their wines, Fritz Haag utilizes stainless steel and some old oak during the winemaking process. Fermentations occur only with indigenous yeasts, and the name of the game is to produce exceptionally pure wines that show true sense of place.
To explore Weingut Fritz Haag further, you can check out their website here. I also previously reviewed their 2019 Riesling.
Today’s Wine: 2020 Juffer Riesling Spätlese
100% Riesling; 8% ABV
The 2020 Juffer Riesling Spätlese is pale straw in color. This is super young, so I gave it quite a bit of time to open up in the glass and it no doubt needs more time in the cellar to reach its full potential. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of white peach, lime pith, nectarine, pear, white lily, flint, a hint of petrol, and saline mineral. Flavors are also of medium (+) intensity, with the palate offering up notes of pear, white peach, green apple, lime zest, underripe pineapple, honeysuckle, wet slate, and a hint of green herbs. This medium sweet Riesling is light- to medium-bodied with high acidity, low alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. Good quality, and very well-balanced.
Price: $30 (though you might be able to find it a few dollars cheaper). I think this is very well-priced and even offers a solid value proposition. I know this is insanely young, though the balance and depth are both already very promising. The acid is very high right now but balances well with the sweetness, so this should have a long life ahead.
If this wine seems like something you might enjoy, you may find this link helpful in locating it.