Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Domherr Auslese, 2001

Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Domherr Auslese, 2001

A good Riesling wine of Auslese quality will usually need a few years before it really shows its potential and some of the outstanding ones may need a decade or more to get there, depending on whether you like them fruitier or a little more sophisticated. The other day, the time for Theo Haart's 2001 Auslese had come, and as it was my last bottle we will never know whether it would have been even more delightful had I waited five years more.

The nose is less sweet than you might expect from an Auslese. It very nicely combines floral notes, even honeysuckle, with paraffin wax, an earthy mineral (vaguely reminding me of potato peel) and delicious fruit - mostly peach but also a little kiwi peel.

On the tongue the Riesling hits you with layer after layer of complexity, but all wrapped up so elegantly it always stays fun and never turns into an intellectual exercise. It has freshness, bringing out the honeysuckle again; feels very clean yet also shows off earthy mineral and a hint of potato peel in the finish; sweet peach and more bitter grapefruit engage in a delicious dialogue with fresh acidity. The finish is long, fresh at first and then increasingly minerally.

I really like how Theo Haart always manages to make his wines so very enjoyable.


Submitted by Molly Sunday, 23/01/2011

Honeysuckle, kiwi, peach, grapefruit ... makes me think of a lazy brunch under the trees on a warm spring day.

Submitted by torsten Sunday, 23/01/2011

In reply to by Molly

In my case it was rather a lazy dinner under a winter roof, but I am sure the wine would do as well or even better under the setting you just described, Molly!

Submitted by Molly Monday, 24/01/2011

In reply to by torsten

Some wines just call to mind certain situations, so when everything comes together, it's just right! Of course I'd drink this wine under pretty much any circumstance... but this train of thought calls to mind a friend who has very specific tastes based on where he is, e.g. only drinks rose in the summer in the South of France, only drinks Merlot when he's skiing. I always thought he was a bit rigid, but at the same time maybe he's on to something.

Submitted by torsten Monday, 24/01/2011

In reply to by Molly

It is a fascinating concept, for sure. Not only should it appeal to people who like structure in their life, it also would make drinking wine more special. I am not sure if it would work for me though - you would always have to plan ahead and make sure that there is a Merlot at hand when skiing. If it just can be any Merlot I am sure you would be fine, but if it has to be a good wine for each occasion you would have to travel with a large supply to be covered...

Having said that, if you restrict it to special occasions it could work.