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Julian Haart
"Landwein der Mosel"
an exploration of structure and lightness

{ This is the Mosel, through the lens of one of the valley's most talented and intuitive winemakers, with a twist. }
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The easy and trite way of approaching this wine is to simply frame it as something like: "This is Julian Haart's natural wine."

Which in some ways is true. The wine was basket-pressed and saw skin and stem contact; it had extended lees contact. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered very late in the year; there wasn't much sulfur used.

The curious thing is that in some ways this is the recipe for Julian's Grand Cru dry Rieslings, the "GGs." They are normally basket-pressed and can see a rather extreme process involving skin and stem contact.

In other words, in certain ways this wine is unlike anything Julian Haart has ever made before, though in other ways the wine has striking similarities to the extreme phenolic density, the structure and the architecture of the top Grand Cru Rieslings.

Yet this bottling is mostly Weissburgunder. So if the architecture of the wine - the lightness and grip - is comparable to Julian's Grand Cru Rieslings, the interior design is wildly different. Here we have a broader, more rustic and meatier feel, a waxy, resinous and saline mid-palate awash with glowing yellow fruit, dried spices, floral elements and a dark and quixotic minerality.

Most importantly, the wine retains that essential Haart quality of supreme drinkability, a clear mineral-water essentialness that feels revitalizing.

The greater, the deeper context for this wine is as part of the renaissance happening in the Mosel, what we're calling "the new Mosel." This new Mosel consists of the growers that are looking beyond the Prädikat system (the Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese we all know) and employing many of the methodologies of natural wine to develop a new aesthetic here. Many of these growers are looking beyond Riesling and/or are blending Riesling with other grapes making new cuvées.

What is exciting - singular really - is using these approaches in one of the coolest and most unique wine-landscapes of the world. What is thrilling about this new Mosel is that at its absolute apogee, these wines still taste like the Mosel. In many ways, this cool-climate landscape, with its wines of high acidity and low pH, this is the perfect place to shape natural wines that are clean and clear, that can still be crystalline and mineral.

"Natural wine" that tastes in a way like "classic wine."

Philip Lardot - another young talent in the Mosel making white wines of similar depth and grip - quipped to me some months ago talking about his wines. "I'm not doing anything crazy; anywhere else you would just call this a white wine."

It is a very exciting time in the Mosel, with influences from the Jura, from Burgundy, from northern Italy and more, being distilled through some of the greatest soils and oldest vines in Europe, right in the heart of the Mosel.

What is a "Landwein" in the context of German wine?
If, as Lardot mentions above, this is just a white wine, then why is it a "Landwein der Mosel?" The answer is easy: because the wines are unfiltered and can often be cloudy. And this "cloudiness" is seen by the authorities as not typical of the Mosel, so these wines cannot be "Qualitätswein." Using the "Landwein" classification is easy enough, and this is used by growers such as Philip Lardot, Jakob Tennstedt, Jonas Dostert, Julien Reynard and Wolfram Stempel in the Mosel as well as growers such as Wasenhaus, etc. in other parts of Germany. The downside of using the "Landwein" designation is that you cannot reference place, neither the village nor the vineyard.

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