Piesporter Goldtröpfchen

A Mosel vineyard famous for producing some of the world's best sweet Riesling.

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Spätlese, 2008

If you ask me to name a winemaker who has really impressed me with consistently, year for year letting the quality (let's avoid the word terroir here, shall we) of an outstanding vineyard shine, well, then I would probably name Theo Haart. Sure, there are others, but I have now tasted his late harvest Rieslings from the famous Piesporter Goldtröpfchen for the vintages 1999 and 2001-2008 (the 05 though is still sitting here, waiting for its day), and not only are they all first class wines, they are also very distinct and consistent in style. The '08 is no exception and, boring as it may sound when I write about Haart late harvest Riesling, just a lovely wine.

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Spätlese, 2003

It has been a while, way too long, actually, since I reported on a wine made by the lovely people from the Haart winery. The winery is based in the village of Piesport, a name that is infamous in the UK for cheap wine, but famous among wine lovers for the Goldtröpfchen (little drop of gold) vineyard, one of the best at the Mosel. The Haart family has been making wine since the 14th century and the sweet Rieslings of Theo Haart, who runs the family estate with his wife and son, have an excellent reputation. For me they are also the embodiment of what I love about the Mosel style of winemaking.

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Großes Gewächs, 2007

Three bottles. I managed to get my greedy hands on three bottles of this wine last year - regular readers of the Wine Rambler will know that I am a big fan of the lovely wines Theo Haart creates at the Haart family estate overlooking the Mosel river. Most of the wines are sweet, but every year there are a few bottles of dry wines. 'Großes Gewächs' is German for 'great growth' and indicates that you are drinking a dry wine from a top vineyard as certified by the German Association of Premier Winemakers (VdP). Basically, think of it as a dry Spätlese (late harvest) or Auslese. So three bottles. One went down the drain last weekend because it was corked - it tasted of burnt smoke and vinegar. This means I am now down to two.

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Spätlese, 2001

If you like aged Riesling, if you want a perfectly balanced, well rounded wine, if you crave the sensation of a wine that makes your palate feel smooth and peachy - go for this gem from the Mosel. Followers of the Wine Rambler will have noticed that we do tend to like the fruity Rieslings Theo Haart makes and this one is no exception. It is, in fact, the oldest Haart we have tasted for the Rambler and it demonstrates the potential of these wines.

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Spätlese, 2004

Is there anything better than a nicely aged, excellent Riesling? I am not sure, but drinking this late harvest from winemaker Haart makes me think there may not be many things that would be better.

The colour is just beautiful, shiny gold with a hint of green. The nose is sophisticated, juicy peach with light herbal notes, cool, buttery mineral and the slightest hint of petrol.

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Spätlese, 2007

Not many things in life beat a late harvest Riesling from the Mosel - sweet, yes, but usually well balanced with acidity and mineral that combine to a perfect sensation that is way too elegant and vibrant to be simply considered a sweet dessert wine. On top of that many of these wines are low on alcohol too. One of my favourite producers of sweet Riesling is Reinhold Haart, a small family owned estate overlooking the Mosel river in the old winemaking village of Piesport.

Reuscher-Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Spätlese, 2007

Looks quite fizzy, lots of small bubbles, greenish colour. Fresh in the nose. Everything about this wine is very fruity at first, almost like an exotic fruit explosion. Also, it seemed to me somewhat unbalanced at first, going through various stages in a short time, sometimes emphasizing fresh lemony acidity, a little mineral, then suddenly grapefruit.

However, after two hours or so, everything settles down, the mineral gets stronger, the rest of the flavours order themselves around it and a nice and orderly German fashion.

Still very young, but quite nice after two+ hours with air. Especially for the price!