Haart to Heart, Riesling, 2008
The 'Haart' in the Riesling with the funny name 'Haart to Heart' is not a spelling mistake. In fact, it comes from the Haart winery, who make some of our favourite sweet Mosel Riesling. It also seems they like a good pun, at least if it comes to labelling their basic Riesling. The 'Heart to Haart' is the only Haart wine that comes with a screw cap and without the 'eagle logo' of the VdP, the elite club of German wine makers, that is proudly displayed on all other Haart bottles. This is because in some years at least part of the grapes for the Haart to Heart are sourced from other growers, but this does not appear to have been the case for a while now. So, as far as the Haart winery is concerned it does not get more basic than this. How basic is basic?
The colour is a clear greenish citrus with a pleasant golden shimmer, a little paler around the edges. The bouquet has lots of mineral in a herbal style with a decent dosage of menthol, almost bordering on minty sage; it is also yeasty and peachy, with a faint hint of petrol. Very easy to like, although not nearly as sophisticated and well defined as other Haart wines. On the tongue the Haart to Heart is fruity, with a pleasant though a little unfocussed mix of stone fruit and apple, with good acidity and a medium length finish that starts out spicy and then leans more towards juicy peach, all with some roughness to it.
The Haart to Heart is a very decent wine, easy to like, easy too drink, but lacks some of the complexity and elegance of its senior (and more pricey) brothers. I liked it better on the second evening when the juiciness in the finish came out much stronger and made it very quaffable. Not one to be stored, a wine to be drunk now.
Reinhold Haart is a top producer
I've been rather impressed by the Reinhold Haart wines I've had of late. It was your 2003 Spatlese that made me seek out more. The most recent wine of his I've tried was a 2006 Goldtropfchen Auslese drank with great pleasure a few days ago. It was most certainly an excellent example of the vineyard and vintage. Great to see a producer who is getting the best from the great Goldtropfchen vineyard; too many people have been making mediocre wine there which is downright contemptible in my view.
Your review of the basic wine was also encouragingly positive so I think Haart can certainly be added to the list of German producers to seek out.
Keep up the good work!
In reply to Reinhold Haart is a top producer by David Strange
Re: Reinhold Haart is a top producer
Good to hear from you and thanks for the links! As it happens, I also drank a 2006 Haart Auslese recently which I found highly enjoyable - which was good as it had been stored for three years in my wardrobe and that is not the best place to keep a wine for so long. You may also be interested in reading our review of one of their dry Great Growth Rieslings. I tend to find the sweet and off-dry Haarts better than the dry wines overall, but this one was really good.
The Haart to Heart certainly is a decent wine, although I would probably not bother to try and seek it out especially (having said that I really like the 2006 Haart to Heart) - for two Euro more you can get the Kabinetts that tend to have more focus and finesse. Still, it made a good companion for a humid London night.
When I met Johannes Haart, who is taking over more responsibilities at the winery now, a couple of years ago he recommended giving the Goldtröpfchen wines at least a few years to mature, and he added that he preferred drinking them at 10+ years of age. Sadly, when they recently sold a batch of older wines a guy from Berlin bought all the 1980s and 1990s stuff before I could get some...
Congratulations on the new design of ER, btw!