The Haart winery is a Wine Rambler regular, constantly winning our praise for their elegant and sophisticated sweet Riesling. However, they are also producing a small quantity of dry Riesling, of which we so far shockingly have only reviewed one. This is to change today.
A simple way of describing the bouquet of the Haart Riesling would be to say that it features stone fruit, lemon, mineral, yeast and a hint of vegetable and tobacco. A much better way of describing it would be to ask you to imagine finding an old tobacco chest in a cool, somewhat damp, loamy cave. The bottom layer of the chest would be covered with ground stone and earth, generously sprinkled with lemon juice and pieces of stone fruit - and all of that covered with a wet, mineral heavy ball of cotton wool soaked in yeast.
After my first sniff I decided to put the bottle away for at least a couple of hours, to give the wine time to release what seemed like somewhat hidden fruit under a yeast cover. Unfortunately, my drinking companions downed the wine so quickly that, before I could even say 'maturation', the Riesling was all gone. So all I have right now is the memory of a wine with clearly defined fruit, finesse, an almost elegant acidity and intense mineral character with more earthiness than I tend to find in the sweeter Haart wines. It also had a good depth and a really yummy, fairly long finish.
Luckily, I saved another bottle to be opened some time later.
Addendum: 'Großes Gewächs' literally means 'great growth'; it indicates that you deal with a top-level dry wine from a quality vineyard. It is part of a classification system that is being pushed by the leading association of winemakers in Germany.