2017 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2017
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 93+
James Suckling: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 8.0%
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"Very pure, but with intense acidity redolent of grapefruit giving zip to the nectarine, white peach and lemon oil notes. Asian spice and elderflower flavors mark the long, mouthwatering finish. Give this some time to find its balance. Drink now through 2021. 240 cases made. -AZ " (WS)

"The 2017 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spätlese is clear, fine and elegant on the nose but still reductive and not showing all of its talents. It does display perfectly ripe Spätlese fruit and a touch of over-ripeness, but this doesn't take anything away from its precision. The attack on the palate is quite racy, leading the wine immediately to a crisp, crunchy, very clear, lush and finessed finish with good grip and tension. It's very reductive still, with ever-present acidity, but highly promising. Tasted in March 2019.

With the 2017s, Oliver Haag has perhaps made the vintage of his life. There wasn't a single wine I tasted that I couldn't recommend to buy and drink. Even the so called "entry level" is impressive in its precision and concentration. The GGs are great (and much finer than less than a decade ago), but honestly, the predicates are the wines to collect. The higher the level, the finer the wine, and the closer to the Juffer Sonnenuhr, the more legendary the wine. No less than three 100-pointers had to be given, all of them for the Juffer Sonnenuhr, one of the greatest terroirs along Mosel, Saar and Ruwer: Auslese LGK, BA and TBA. These selections are so clear, precise and refined, so beautifully balanced yet intense and fragile. Perfection and fascination, if you like to break all this down to one line.

The first three 2018s had just been bottled when I tasted the 2017s in early April this year, and Oliver Haag asked me not to publish my impressions because the wines were not at their peak yet. This may be, but I was already impressed and am wondering if Fritz Haag's 2018 will rival the great 2017s? A huge success for Oliver Haag, whose wines are so joyful to drink anytime." (WA)

"Tons of herbs and quite some yeast on the nose. The latter is the result of minimal handling in the cellar. Succulent and well-structured with a very clean, crisp finish. This a serious Mosel Spätlese with plenty of herb and mineral character at the long and racy finish. Drink or hold." (JS)

Winery Notes:
The Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spatlese is one of Fritz Haag's "residual sweetness" classics - A wine like this has the potential to be laid down for 30 to 40 years.

The name “Juffer” translates as “old maid” in the local dialect and goes back to 1790. The owner of these exceptional vineyards at the time had three daughters who all remained unmarried. As a consequence, when they took over the vineyard from their father, the name “Brauneberger Juffer” was born and the wines soon became famed in the wine world. The vineyards were recognized as true pearls of the Mosel region and were treasured even by Napoleon. The name “Sonnenuhr” refers to the sundial that graces the center part of the Juffer vineyard, which is generally recognized as the section of the steep hillside that produces the very finest wines.

The Brauneberg is an isolated, south-facing hill that, unlike most other great Mosel sites, has very little forest above it to provide water. The relative lack of water and the well-drained brown slate soil make it one of the drier vineyards in the area, a great advantage in wet years, which occur frequently in this cool, northern climate.