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Stephan Reinhardt from Wine Advocate (R. Parker): 92+ pnt
Coming from weathered, reddish slate soils and made for the first time as a dry wine, the 2015 Piesporter Grafenberg Riesling Trocken GG displays a clear, ripe and intense fruit aroma with flinty/herbal and some yeasty sur-lie notes. Aged on the full lees until the end of July and bottled in August, this is a full-bodied and round, yet super dry and very elegant Riesling. It has a long, fresh and piquant finish with lots of stones, salt and perfectly ripe, well-defined fruit. This is a remarkably finessed and elegant wine with great purity, terroir expression and long aging-potential. Don't drink it too early, because the best is yet to come!
Drink Date: 2020 - 2035
"Initially we expected a good vintage for Kabinett wines," Johannes Haart says. "But then again, like in 2014 and 2016, the alcohol output was higher than expected and in the end, although there was not much botrytis, we produced the whole range of predicates except for Eiswein." This includes a gold-capsuled Auslese (which was auctioned in Trier), two Beerenauslesen and even a Trockenbeerenauslese.
Haart picked between September 28 and the beginning of November. The quantities were good and the qualities were terrific! Haart's 2015 are characterized by a good ripeness of fruit and crisp acidities. "We have a good water supply in Piesport and the grapes were fully ripe, despite the very hot summer. Due to the cold October, the acidity levels are stunningly high, between 8.5 and 9.5 grams per liter. The wines just need two or three years to become more charming. In fact, they are very aromatic and fruity, and taste sweeter than they really are, like for example in 2009. But the acidity of 2015 is a great counterpoint." Haart says, 2015 is a combination of the round and fruity style of 2011 and 2009 with the acidity of 2013.
Johannes Haart's style tends more and more towards dry, pure and precise. "We don't like an opulent and overly fruity style," he says. "Since our acidities are always ripe, seven or eight grams of residual sugar can taste pretty round and charming, but don't serve the clear, lean, elegant and refined Nordic style we are aiming for." However, Haart doesn't want to pick his grapes all too early. He wants them fully ripe to receive ripe, intense and expressive but elegant wines. He keeps his wines on the full lees until the end of June, but doesn't apply any bâtonnage to keep the freshness and structure. In the coming years, Haart wants to sulfur his wines even later than today, but early enough to prevent them from undergoing malolactic fermentation. "The pH levels in Piesport are between 2.9 and 3.2, and the malolactic fermentation would cause a broader style that I don't want." He also considers 30-40% of malic acid as typical for a Piesport Riesling. Only in warm vintages such as 2011 and 2003, the proportion of tartaric acid is much higher.
Haart's 2015 series is again one of the best in the whole Mosel valley. The three dry grands crus—including the Grafenberg GG that has been produced for the first time—are great and expressive wines. Among the predicates, the Goldtröpfchen Kabinett is already a superb entry. The series of Auslesen is incredibly good and is the core of the 2015 collection. They are lush and elegant, beautifully concentrated, but also finessed and highly precise. Riesling lovers can't go wrong here, as long as they buy at least a case of one of them.