Oliver Haag has taken over handily from the redoubtable Wilhelm, his father (who continues to consult). The line of achievement here at one of Germany’s best addresses remains unbroken. The family has made wine in the famed Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr since 1605—indeed, they co-planted it. At present, the 13ha estate owns the largest and best portion of the vineyard, as well as the best parcel of the Brauneberger Juffer, which surrounds the Sonnenuhr from both sides and above. The impossibly steep vineyards with grades up to 73% are planted on slate rock, and are among the most difficult vineyard sites in the world to cultivate. Using traditional cellar techniques and careful, selective harvesting, Haag produces wines of power, elegance, and longevity, with a thumping slate character that ultimately serves as the benchmark for the entire Mosel.
Tasting Notes: (2006)Scents of over-ripe pear and musk melon rise from a glass of the 2005 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule A.P. #9. In the mouth, this positively drips with a condensed concentration of sweet floral perfume, along with grilled pink grapefruit and honey-drenched pear and melon. Almost gaudy in comparison with its siblings and decidedly softer and more overtly sweet, it finishes with peach, pear, and quince preserves of compelling concentration and clarity, even if its nectar-like emphasis on extremely ripe fruits and heady florality leave no apparent room – at least at this stage – for mineral nuances. Ernst Loosen is fond of saying that a great Mosel Auslese should be like a hamster in its youth, storing up fat and sugar for a long sleep. To the extent one trucks with that metaphor, I cannot imagine a better illustration, and I would wait at least a decade before pulling the next cork on this Auslese and commencing a further 20 years of satisfying contemplation.
—David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate