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It would not have been easy, running my usual schedule along the Mosel tasting the young ‘21s. Even with the mere fifteen bottles here, if I taste more than 8-10 at a time my mouth yelps with the repeated jolts of phenols and acids. Not that these wines are sharp; they do not err in that respect, but they are also typical of the Mosel vintage. If you relish acidity, it will be bliss by a thousand cuts.

It also seems to be a rather jumpy, restless group of wines. Most of them tasted better either as I tasted or as I drank them, and while some improved with air, others were diminished. There was no repose in view.

I’m beginning to get a “sense” of Thomas Haag’s superb domain, of the precise structure and finely hewn fruit he seeks, and of the mineral verve that accompanies them both. Many of the wines were lovely, and I’m thankful to have tasted them and was stirred by a number of them. I will demur, though, at the critical truism that the ’21 vintage is somehow “classic.” I don’t think it is, notwithstanding the many estates who made superb collections (drawing some flak that their wines were too “fluffy” for the vintage!); 2021 on the Mosel is often a year of sharp, bracing, light wines, steered by acidity I often find excessive. Yet it’s just these characteristics that allowed for the production of scintillatingly magnificent wines – especially but not exclusively in the sweet segment – that approached the ethereal in ways no riper vintage could approximate. There are at least two such wines in this group.

A couple wines were markedly leesy, perhaps as a means of buffering those acids, and more than a few were phenolic. I wondered, while (happily!) tasting through them, whether the vintage was best suited to a warmer fermentation followed by a long sojourn in (old neutral) casks. A few of these could have been super interesting bottled in 2023 or ’24 with the clemency of slow deliberate oxidation. Yet such an approach would have been false to the vintage, some could viably argue.

Based on the limited number of Mosel ‘21s I’ve tasted, I’d say that ’21 is a highly particular vintage that’s not at all “classic” but has certain elements in common with “classic” vintages we could be recalling inaccurately. While it doesn’t exactly taste like the 1985s, I’d look at that vintage for clues to how this one might age.

(in the sequence I tasted them the first time through, and which I juggled with subsequent tastings.)

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01 ago 2023

Thanks for these notes. Like you, this is a winery with which I have limited familiarity, but at times it really grabs me. More detailed study is definitely called for.

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