Week 5. Sommelier Feature: Fritz Haag, Brauneberger Riesling.

 
 

You can ask just about any Sommelier in the world what their favorite white grapes are and you're certain to get Riesling on that list.

Riesling expressed terroir so well, it magnifies minerality and sense of place. A high acid grape, it's able to provide that crisp, lean structure even when it's sweet. Mosel Riesling is one of the best examples of what this grape is capable, off dry to medium sweet, the wines are light in alcohol and aromatic. 

The Mosel river and it's tributaries wind and bend along the hills, which become steeper and steeper in the middle section. Small towns and castles decorate the hilltops creating one of the most scenic riversides in all of Europe. Vineyards dot the sunny south facing slopes at a jaw-dropping slope, almost unimaginable to harvest. Some of the vineyards have narrow terraces, lined with stones and rocks, however erosion continues to make vine growing considerably difficult. Only the true, committed farmer continues to work the land here. 

For centuries the greatest wines in the world came from the Mosel, and continue to deliver outstanding, age-worthy wines. That's why we are including a Mosel riesling in our Sommelier Feature. 

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Romans called it Dulcis mons (Latin for “sweet mountain”)

"Dusemont" or "Dusemond" was the original name of the town of Brauneberg. 

Weingut Fritz Haag is located in the middle Mosel, in the town of Brauneberg, neighboring the famous towns of Bernkastel and Mülheim. The old name of Brauneberg was Dusemond, which originates from Roman times when it was called Dulcis mons (Latin for "sweet mountain"). The village is famous for the vineyards of Juffur or Jungfrau (young maiden), Sonnenuhr (sundial), Klostergarten (Garden of the convent) and Kammer.

The soil of the Mosel vary from sandstone, shell-limestone, and red marl in the upper Mosel, to Devon slate in the middle Mosel, Saar and Ruwer. Brauneberg, (Brown mountain) is named after the brown slate soil, producing wines with a racy, aromatic quality. 

Olivier (left) with his father Wilhelm

The Haag family have owned and operated the winery since 1605 and passed down their knowledge and skill for many generations. Oliver Haag is the current winemaker and operator of the estate. The wines he makes are as pristine and intense as his grandfather Fritz and father Wilhelm’s. They offer the complete diversity of Riesling styles, from dry to delicately fruity and noble sweet.

The 2012 Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett is wildly delicious. Expressive on the nose with aromas of ripe peaches, Asian pears and honey suckle, the palate is light, off dry with potent acidity.

 

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2012 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling 

2012 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett 

2013 Fritz Haag Riesling QBA