Reinhold Haart, Wintricher Ohligsberg, Riesling Auslese, 2006
It was New Year's Eve and the Wine Rambler committee had assembled in Munich to drink some god-damn wine. And what could be better to conclude an evening of feasting and drinking with friends than one of the elegant, sweet Mosel Rieslings that Theo Haart turns out year after year? To celebrate the end of 2009 it had to be something special, an 'Auslese' ('selection', one of the highest ratings in the often confusing and not always meaningful German wine classification system). Made by a good winery and stored well these wines can last for decades, so a 2006 Auslese can almost be seen as a young wine when drunk at the end of 2009. Or as darn tasty, at any time.
First, the colour: a shiny, shiny gold - not of the intense 'Goldfinger wants to use me for killing women' type, but rather a shiny, elegant gold. Next, the nose: not too intense, actually, but in the most pleasant way - subtle mineral, the Haart trademark herbal notes, stone fruit, a little peach, caramel, marzipan and wax, somewhere between paraffin and beeswax.
Finally, on the tongue: sweet, almost opulent, juicy: stone fruit, again, also a little pineapple, and more herbs. To balance all this yummy goodness the Haart Riesling brings its fine acidity into play that keeps the wine from becoming overwhelmingly sweet; another key component is that little bit of spice in the fine finish that adds the final component to an impressive wine.
We enjoyed it a lot, although we also felt that at this early stage in its life a little more acidity would have been even better. It would be very interesting to see how the wine will taste in five or ten years; one can only speculate about its opulence slowly receding, making a bit more space for the sophistication behind it. Either way, a fine wine from a producer that just makes some of the yummiest sweet Rieslings we have ever tasted.